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Mike Dolce on Why Cain Velasquez Isn’t Fighting at “Optimal Body Weight”

Kelsey Mowatt

Cain Velasquez

While Mike Dolce has been criticized by some, and more frequently it seems lately, there are a lot of folks who stand behind the nutrition and conditioning coach’s methods.

Whether you’re a fan of Dolce or not, or don’t really know enough about weight cutting, dieting etc to make an informed opinion on his ideas, the veteran fighter has some pretty interesting insights on MMA.

Case in point, recently Dolce spoke with Bloody, and in addition to responding to some of his critics, he weighed in on whether heavyweights compete with too much body fat. As you know, at the upper tiers of MMA, the heavyweight division is typically the only one these days where you’ll hear someone say ‘that dude could lose some weight.’

Dolce made several interesting comments, including these ones regarding UFC heavyweight champ, Cain Velasquez:

Personally, I think all combat athletes should be competing in the 8-10% range. Heavyweights don’t want to hear that. Guys like Cain (Velasquez) that are extremely dominant, because he’s such a genetic freak, I can still say, and any sports science person in the industry will agree, he’s not competing at his optimal body weight. He may have good results with his competition performance, but truly, that’s not an optimal body weight.

Yes, there’s no question that Velasquez is a ridiculously gifted and talented athlete. Of course, some have argued in the past that the UFC should consider having a cruiserweight division, as the gap between light-heavyweights and big heavyweights is so large. Then of course, you would run into depth issues in terms of talent, as the heavyweight division is widely considered to be one of the thinnest already.

Dolce went on to add that “you cannot convince me that carrying around 20, 30, 40 pounds of subcutaneous adipose tissue or non-functional body weight is going to make you a better fighter in the modern era of the UFC.”

It’s an interesting interview, so if you have time and you’re into the nutrition / conditioning side of the sport, you should check out the entire piece.

Velasquez hasn’t fought now since last October, when he took out Junior dos Santos in the fifth round. The champ underwent shoulder surgery following the fight, and more recently, he injured his knee and was forced to withdraw from a scheduled bout with Fabricio Werdum.

The latter went on to stop Mark Hunt at UFC 180 and became the interim heavyweight champ in the process.


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