Former Iowa Central standout Cain Velasquez will look to win back the UFC heavyweight title on Saturday night when he steps inside the Octagon with Junior dos Santos.
Back in late 2001, dos Santos floored Velasquez with a thunderous attack, ending his reign atop the UFC's division - and his perfect record in the process.
Now, after defeating Antonio Silva, Velasquez will get his shot at revenge at UFC 155.
Velasquez (10-1) was the first UFC fighter with Mexican heritage to become a champion after stopping Brock Lesnar back in 2010.
"I am very grateful to my parents because without them having a dream, I definitely would not be living mine," Velasquez said during a pre-fight press conference on Thursday. "This definitely has a lot to do with them."
Efrain Velasquez came to the U.S. illegally, meeting his future wife, Isabel, and gaining citizenship. They had three sons, including Cain, who went on to become a national champion at Iowa Central.
Cain Velasquez was later a two-time NCAA medalist at Arizona State.
Velasquez has remained his private self, enjoying his time away from the spotlight with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter.
"I just think my fighting style speaks for itself," Velasquez said. "I am private in everything else, but I think my fighting style speaks for itself."
Prior to facing dos Santos the first time, Velasquez suffered a torn ACL. Recently, video was released of a training session that showed the injury happening.
Dos Santos also had a knee injury before the fight, but Velasquez was in no mood to discuss the issue further.
"You don't make excuses for yourself," Velasquez said. "Let's stop talking about that old fight; this is a whole new one."
The first fight with dos Santos lasted just 64 seconds, but Velasquez made sure to learn as much as he could from the defeat.
"You have to learn from a loss," Velasquez said. "You can't dwell. You have to make the best out of it, take what you did wrong and use it the rest of your career."