Cain Velasquez felt the stakes were bigger than the pain in his surgically repaired shoulder or damaged knee.
Velasquez wasn't only defending his heavyweight title against Junior dos Santos in November 2011, he was doing so in UFC's broadcast television premiere. Backing out -- like several fighters have been forced to do in recent months -- was only a fleeting consideration.
"I thought about it," Velasquez told FOXSports.com. "I just manned up. I had to do it. I had to go out there and fight. I just felt like it was too late to do anything about it. I just sucked it up."
Velasquez lost his first pro fight, and with it his belt, 64 seconds into UFC on FOX 1 as dos Santos claimed the knockout win.
"I don't think it was the best decision," Velasquez said.
Not that he'd likely admit otherwise, Velasquez said he's healthy as he prepares for his rematch with dos Santos at UFC 155 in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Most thought Velasquez, 30, was dealing mainly with a rotator cuff injury sus...