After securing his first UFC heavyweight title, Cain Velasquez was unsuccessful in defending the belt, as Junior dos Santos finished him in the first round.

Now, after redeeming himself with a victory over dos Santos and gaining back the title, Velasquez knows how important it is that he defends it vs. Antonio Silva next week at UFC 160.

“To me, (defending the belt) is the most important thing,” said Velasquez, during a recent conference call. “To defend it, to hold on to it, this is the position I want to be in. I have to go out there and perform.”

Velasquez (11-1) stormed Silva the first time the two met, taking him down and earning a first round TKO victory. Despite that previous win, though, he knows this fight will be another animal.

“We saw what ‘Bigfoot’ can do in his past two fights. I can’t take him lightly. He is a tough competitor and has dangerous stuff in the Octagon,” he said. “I don’t see this as anything less than a grueling fight. That’s what I’m expecting.”