The matchup: One of the most dominant present day UFC heavyweight fighters goes up against an ASU baseball superstar.
No. 4 Cain Velasquez
Basic Info: Born: July 28, 1982 in Salinas, California. High School: Kofa High School (Yuma, Arizona). Height/weight: 6-foot-1, 245 pounds. ASU career: 2004-2006. NFL Career: 2006-present.
Notables: Boasting a record of 110-10 in high school wrestling, Velasquez reportedly turned down an offer to play linebacker at Arizona State. Instead, he won the NJCAA National Championship in 2002 at Iowa Central CC. Four years after his career ended at ASU, he defeated Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 in 2010 to become the first-ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion in either MMA or UFC.
What you don’t know: Though a heavy-hitter in the ring, Velasquez told Dan Le Batard of ESPN he cried at the end of the movie “Terminator 2: Judgement day” and is “kind of” afraid of ghosts.
|86-17 overall record|
|Pac-10 Wrestler of the Year (2010)|
|Pac-10 championship (2005, 06)|
|5th in nation (2005)|
|4th in nation (2006)|
|Heavyweight champ (2010, 12, twice in 2013)|
|14-2 overall record|
No. 5 Jason Kipnis
Basic Info: Born: April 3, 1987 in Northbrook, Illinois. High School: Glenbrook High School (Northbrook, Illinois). Height/weight: 5-foot-11, 195 pounds. ASU career: 2008-2009. MLB Career: 2010-present.
Notables: “Kip” kicked off his college career with the Kentucky Wildcats where he hit .337 with a .450 on base percentage and won 2007 SEC Freshman of the Year. After his redshirt sophomore season at ASU hitting .371, he was drafted by the Padres in the fourth round. However, Kipnis came back for his junior to pursue his double major in psychology and sociology, becoming the seventh-highest draft pick to return to college at the time.
What you don’t know: Kipnis’ mom is Roman Catholic and his dad is Jewish. Had “Kip” desired, he could have played for Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
|CWS semifinals appearance (2009)|
|Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year (2008)|
|Drafted in 4th round (2008, Padres)|
|Drafted in 2nd round (2009, Indians)|
|Pac-10 Player of the Year (2009)|
|NCAA All-American (2009)|
|2013 & 2015 All Star second baseman|
|Struck 51 hits in May of 2015 (Indians record for hits in a month)|
|World Series appearance (2016)|
|6th in AL with 31 steals in 2012|