Patience has paid off for UFC fighter Cain Velasquez
That created a challenge for him after he underwent surgery in January for a major tear of his right rotator cuff and doctors strictly limited his physical activity. He had to talk himself into being patient and obeying their orders, trading short-term frustration for the promise of long-term gain.
"It took five months of not doing anything," said Velasquez, known for his devotion to working out and the hours he spends in the gym. "It was hard, but I knew the less I did the faster I would come back, and I have."
Velasquez, who won his title with a first-round technical knockout of Brock Lesnar at Honda Center last October, said he is on track for a return to the scene of his triumph Nov. 12. He is scheduled to fight top contender Junior dos Santos in a five-round bout that is to headline the first UFC card broadcast on Fox.
Velasquez, a native of Salinas, said he has no doubts about his shoulder as he prepares for his bout.
"I had a lot of trust in my doctors. I just followed their instructions through the rehab and I just slowly felt the progress from the beginning of how much better it was getting, up until I got back into the weight room and got things back to where I was before. My body is 100%."
While he healed, he said he went on promotional appearances for the UFC and spent time with his family, which includes his 2½-year-old daughter, Coral.
"That kind of kept my head from being too down, being around my family and being positive with them," he said. "They helped me through it."
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Cain Velasquez poses with his UFC heavyweight championship belt at a news conference in Hollywood in September. Credit: Victor Decolongon / Getty Images