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limba 04-21-2011 03:15 PM

Javier Mendez (AKA head trainer): If Cain chose to strike with Overeem, he would lose

With the recent purchase of Strikeforce by ZUFFA, the dream match that many fans want to see is Alistair Overeem versus Cain Velasquez. What would you do to help Cain prepare for Overeem's K-1 level striking and size?

I'm not concerned about the size factor whatsoever. Cain's used to wrestling with guys his size and bigger. It might be more of a deterrent for Overeem, because of Cain's quickness and speed. Due to the fact that Overeem is an incredible striker, it would be stupid to simply strike with him. Of course we'd strike with him, but we wouldn't strike with him know what I mean? If we choose to stand with him, that's probably one of those fights that we would lose.

We would play to his weaknesses, not his strengths. You can honestly say that there is no way from now till whenever or if ever the two meet that Alistair's wrestling will improve to that of Cain's level. Obviously we are going to exploit Overeem's lack of wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu wise I don't know how good Alistair's ground game is. I heard he's pretty good, Cain's a brown belt in BJJ. People don't understand how good Cain is in Jiu-Jitsu, he's really good. But the thing is he always listens to his coaching staff and is really dedicating to following our advice. We never asked him to go for a submission on anyone. And that's why people will say “he doens't have any submission skills” but that's because we never wanted him to go for it.

That's why you never see Cain try to tap out anyone, because we've never asked him to. We never wanted him to play the submission game, but he's really, really good. You may doubt that because you've never seen it, but wait till he shows you how good he is. Critics used to say Cain had “pillow hands”. The thing about Cain Velasquez that the people don't understand is that you are watching a fighter that keeps evolving, he keeps learning, and getting better. He never settles for what he was yesterday, he always strives to be better. If you watch his fights, you'll notice a big improvement with every fight. He went from having “no hands” to knocking people out! If you watched him on Sports Science on ESPN, they tested his punching power. He punched harder than anyone who has ever appeared on that show.

How is that possible? I'll tell you how it's possible, he refined it, he worked on it. There's a saying “with technique, comes power. When you hone that technique, you'll bring the power”. It took Cain a while, don't get me wrong. He couldn't hit hard at all, but he never stopped trying, and he has good speed. When you combine good speed and good technique, your going to generate some power.
Very-very long interview with Javier Mendez, but i chose this part to post it here, since it is the most interesting subject! :)

Here is the full interview:

Javier Mendez interview - part one

Javier Mendez interview - part two

I think Mendez is right about striking with Overeem.
A lot of people don't understand what a devastating striker Overeem is and how strong that guy is.

...makes Kongo look like a MW compared to him.

khoveraki 04-21-2011 03:20 PM

Thanks for posting Limba. I didn't watch it since I have to go in 10 minutes but I have one thing to add:

If Overeem chose to wrestle with Cain, he'd lose too. :thumb02:

Voiceless 04-21-2011 03:59 PM


Originally Posted by khoveraki (Post 1401245)
If Overeem chose to wrestle with Cain, he'd lose too. :thumb02:

My first thought also when reading the title.

SM33 04-21-2011 04:49 PM

Cool, someone on the inside backs up what some of us have been saying, Reem is a very dangerous fight for Velasquez.

I wonder what plan they'd have to close the distance on Overeem, seems lately that when anyone get's close or tries to grapple, they either get hurt badly or just get thown off like a toy. I know he hasn't fought a wrestler like Cain, I don't need a lecture on that, but Reem has shown the ability to shrug off big bodies like they are nothing.

That coupled with his striking is a lethal combination for any kind of fighter, without even considering he is good on the ground too.

Hiro 04-21-2011 04:57 PM

This guy talks sense.

Of course Overeem would outstrike Cain if it was just a standup fight, he's a K-1 champ it's not really debatable.

In MMA though, strikers can be thrown off by the threat of a takedown. Suddenly the distance changes, their reactions change and they don't know whether it's a shot, a kick or a punch. Or something else.

As soon as Cain dumps Overeem on his back once he's going to realise he can't go diving in for the KO. Tough fight for Overeem and I think he's outclassed pretty easily in the wrestling department.

khoveraki 04-21-2011 05:05 PM

Mousasi vs. Lawal is a good example of an elite K-1 level striker struggling bad against a wrestler. And Lawal is nowhere near as good at MMA wrestling or striking as Cain.

HaVoK 04-21-2011 07:00 PM


Originally Posted by khoveraki (Post 1401245)
Thanks for posting Limba. I didn't watch it since I have to go in 10 minutes but I have one thing to add:

If Overeem chose to wrestle with Cain, he'd lose too. :thumb02:

Yeah, exactly. Pretty obvious statement. Good thing it's MMA and not kickboxing.

limba 04-22-2011 03:52 AM

While i agree that Cain's wrestling is excellent and could pose a big threat for Overeem, i can't look past the fact that Overeem is such a big-strong guy.

And everytime i think of cain shooting for a TD an image pops up in my mind: Mckeever's signature - Overeem kneeing Cain in the face.

Every wrestler who shoots for the TD gets exposed to a big knee - and Overeem is excelent at throwing knees. This is the first scenario.

The second scenario would be Overeem catching Cain in a guillotine - another Overeem signature move. It's one of his favorites in fact. With such upper body strength, once he gets hold of a neck, he ain't letting it go.

Of course this is just pure speculation, but looking at how these two match-up, it could very well translate in reality.

I believe Overeem would take this - via stalking ---> clinch ---> knees ---> punches ---> GnP!

Cain's best chance is to take Overeem down and grind him - tire him.
The longest he's fought in his last 10 fights was against Buentello - about 8 minutes.
In fact in his last 10 fights he fought a combined time of just over 25 minutes. That's an average of 2 & 1/2 minutes per fight - that's crazy!

Seeing how muscular he is = need a lot of oxygen = need of great cardio - and the fact that Cain is a cardio machine, i believe that would be his best game plan.

I can't wait for this fight to finally happen.

Sambo de Amigo 04-22-2011 08:18 AM

Well its obvious Overeem is a striker and would like the fight to stay there , but you cant just say HE WOULD BEAT Cain if it were to stay like that simply because you cannot discount all the elements such as TDs and Clinch which throw Strikers off guard, he would be favourite but its been shown his chin isnt the best at LHW and neither was his cardio so i wouldn't be surprised if he KO'ed Overeem on the feet.

khoveraki 04-22-2011 10:26 AM

Lesnar is stronger than Overeem and Cain had zero problem.

Personally I think "Uber-reems" knees are too slow to catch Cain coming in on a shot. When he was at 205 he could throw those knees really fast but now that he's a huge guy they're pretty slow, although very powerful.

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