Welch impressed with Cayman youth

Peter Welch has a lot on his minds
these days. The MMA coach is busy getting pupil Brock Lesnar in shape for a
major bout next month.

The former pro wrestler and current
MMA heavyweight champion battles unbeaten Shane Carwin in the main event for
UFC 116 in Las Vegas on July 3. In spite of Lesnar not having fought since last
year due to a severe digestive disorder, Welch believes in his star pupil’s
abilities.

“Brock is very explosive. He’s
265lbs of pure fury. He has freakish athletic movements. He’s essentially a
heavyweight that moves like a middle-weight.”

Lesnar, 32, has a 4-1 record and
his latest fight was against Frank Muir at UFC 100 last July. He has been in
training for next Saturday’s fight for some time. He was reported doing serious
sparring in the cage this month. At this point the six-foot three inch
juggernaut sounds ready to make a title defense.

“I’m excited, the fight is almost
here,” Lesnar said. “This is what I love to do. Yes, I’m very humbled that I’ve
been given a second chance and a new approach on the fight game. It’s been
really great.”

Many in the MMA community are
curious if he will have his trade-mark explosiveness back after collapsing on a
hunting trip in Canada
last November.

In the midst of that Welch is bound
to have fond memories of Cayman in mind after taking part in MMA seminars here.
The South Boston native was in Cayman weeks
ago along with pupil and MMA star Kenny Florian at the behest of FAST Defense organizer
Bob Daigle. Originally a boxing coach, Welch walked the roughly 85 participants
through training sessions on Muay Thai kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. A
number of moves were taught to both the male and female attendees from basic
takedowns and holds to more elaborate chokes and ground manoeuvres.

Welch, 38, had nothing but
compliments for the Cayman seminars.

“Who wouldn’t want to fight here?
It was my first time in Cayman and it was beautiful. It’s a fighter’s paradise.
It’s a great place to train and fight. I liked the potential of the kids here.
They were real good to work with.”

Like many big names within the MMA
universe, Welch got into the sport by way of boxing. He started building
proficiency in the ring from age nine. Eventually he won a junior Golden Glove
at age 17 and went on to have a brief but successful pro career, attaining a
perfect 5-0 record.

Welch may be busy putting the likes
of Lesnar, Florian and others through their paces at his Boston gymnasium (titled the F-15 Training
Center). However the father of three is looking forward to returning to Cayman.

“I definitely plan on coming back,”
Welch said. “Our goal is to expand the training we did here and grow the
network of MMA. Ideally we’ll bring in more MMA fighters from the UFC and work
on the skills we taught here. I train a lot of guys including Brock so it could
be anyone. Hopefully we can build a proper MMA program here.”

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