Cain Velasquez Destroys Junior Dos Santos

Photo Credit: Esther Lin.

Photo Credit: Esther Lin.

In what will go down as one of the most dominant championship victories in UFC history, challenger Cain Velasquez downright assaulted the heavyweight kingpin on live PPV. He didn’t just win the championship, Velasquez ripped it away from Dos Santos and made his face resemble The Elephant Man.

After the opening bell, Velasquez came out grabbing a single and transitioning into double underhooks for a powerful takedown. Dos Santos managed to scramble back up to his feet. Early on Velasquez would be aggressive with both his striking and wrestling. Some of his takedown attempts reeked of desperation, but they worked at forcing Dos Santos out of his comfort zone. Both men were landing shots, the challenger had some cuts on his face but it was clear that Velasquez was landing at a higher volume. The big turning point in the first frame was Velasquez blasting Dos Santos to the bloodsoaked canvas with a spear-like overhand right at the 3:36 mark. Velasquez immediately got on top of Dos Santos, trying his best to land clean shots on the wounded champion. “He is getting destroyed,” roared Joe Rogan as Velasquez landed punches on Dos Santos. When the champion tried to get up, the challenger would drag him back down. Dos Santos survived the round, the vicious damage he took was enough for two judges to score it 10-8 for Velasquez.

As the second frame started, Velasquez rushed in to land a nice combination on Dos Santos before going straight to the takedown. Velasquez managed to get several different takedowns on Dos Santos and land strikes on him from the top. “This isn’t even a close fight, this is a mauling, this is a mauling,” said Rogan. Velasquez kept his pace high, as he worked over Dos Santos on the mat and against the cage with a variety of hard blows. Velasquez’s tools this evening included dirty boxing, combinations, body shots, and ground and pound. Velasquez was not letting Dos Santos get back into this fight, physically or mentally. At one point, Velasquez felt confident enough to even attempt an armbar (which is how Dos Santos lost his first fight). One judge gave this another 10-8 for the challenger.

The third round was underway and Dos Santos attempted to hurt Velasquez with an uppercut. Didn’t work. The champion tried to land something until Velasquez rushed in with a single leg to easily take him down. Velasquez controlled him well, landing some nice strikes against the cage and some hard blows to the body. Dos Santos tried a few elbows and hard strikes, but they didn’t seem to faze Velasquez. Dos Santos did much better than in the previous two stanzas, even landing a few sharp hooks to the body. But Velasquez landed the more damaging strikes (another huge over hand right) and was in control of the heavyweight champion.

In the fourth round, we saw Velasquez pushing the fight against the cage again. Dos Santos landing another nice hook to the body and attempting an Anderson Silva-like elbow. But it Velasquez that was suffocating him against the cage and landing big shots to the swollen face of the champion. Dos Santos tried to take Velasquez down, but that didn’t work. In the midway point, Velasquez stabbed Dos Santos in the body with a left hook, then threw a nasty left uppercut. As the fourth frame was coming to an end, the crowd chants “si se puede” to rally the Mexican-American star.

Dos Santos tried to use his footwork to stay away from Velasquez in the opening portion of the fifth frame. But Velasquez still came forward to try takedowns and land jabs. Dos Santos did a good job of defending Velasquez’s takedowns here. But it was the clinch where Velasquez outworked Dos Santos again. At the midway point, Velasquez got his takedown and attempted to get a mount. He got a half-guard position and started working ground and pound. Velasquez then took his back before the fight got back up to its feet. With 39 seconds left, Velasquez landed a quick high kick that snapped the face of the champion. The fight ended with Dos Santos sandwiched between the cage and his challenger, enduring the pain of losing the fight and eating his opponents offense.

With this win, Velasquez gains the number one ranking at the heavyweight division and cements his status as one of the greatest heavyweights in MMA history. He followed his strategy and dominated a champion that a lot of people felt was unbeatable. He proved that he is one of the most talented and driven individuals in the sport today. With his victories over top ten Antonio “Big Foot” Silva and number one ranked Junior Dos Santos, Velasquez has made his case as a “Fighter of the Year Contender”. Velasquez will now look forward to defending his crown and fighting the other most dangerous heavyweight in the division – Alistair Overeem.

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