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Cain Velasquez defends AKA: 'We train hard and spar hard, it's the only way we know'

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UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez talks about injuries and training at American Kickboxing Academy.

Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

In the unforgiving world of mixed martial arts, months go by like years as fighters train hard and spar hard every week in preparation for their moment in the Octagon. Cain Velasquez has been sidelined from competition for almost two years due to a sprained MCL suffered in training and in such an unrelenting sport, a two-year absence can be career altering. Despite the heavyweight champ's string of injuries, the Mexican-American firmly believes the coaches at AKA provide the best tutelage in MMA. Velasquez spoke to BJPenn.com's Layzie the Savage earlier today to discuss the training ethos at American Kickboxing Academy:

"Every fighter that I know of has a little injury here and there," Velasquez said. "I've fought in there with injury before - you don't disclose it. We get injured all the time in training, but we don't tell anybody else. As far as AKA in general...I don't even think it's a string of bad luck, I think everywhere people are getting hurt. It's just the thing that we do. We train hard and we spar hard just like boxing does. There's other guys out there that are getting hurt from other gyms, it's not just our gym. I wouldn't say I've got all of my injuries from practise, I've got some from fights and years of wear and tear. This is the only way we know how to train."

Cain Velasquez and AKA, in particular, have come under criticism recently from Dana White, as the UFC president accused the gym of enforcing practises that are still 'in the stone ages.' Velasquez will look to dispel any doubts of his conditioning when he takes on Fabricio Werdum this Saturday at UFC 188 in a title unification bout. Werdum seized the interim heavyweight title during Cain's hiatus last year and will look to capture the official title on June 13.