This Saturday Night: Junior Dos Santos vs Cain Velasquez II

Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

On November 12, 2011, one odd-looking over-hand right changed the course of Cain Velasquez’s MMA career. He went from being a surprisingly popular heavyweight champion, to being the latest victim of Brazilian power puncher Junior Dos Santos. UFC’s Mexican and Mexican-American hope, a market UFC has desired for years was exchanged for a new star in the hot Brazil market.

Junior Dos Santos has made the most of his newly acquired status. The affable heavyweight kingpin actually did a very good number with Frank Mir (560,000 North American buys) in his first title defense. Although if one were to be critical, it would be to say that Frank Mir had no business going two rounds with Dos Santos and that the Brazilian should have put him away in the first frame. On that same card, Velasquez unleashed the bloodiest fight in recent memory, as he sliced through Antonio “Big Foot” Silva like an emotionless cyborg.

What did we learn from their first fight? We learned that Velasquez can land some solid legkicks on Dos Santos. We also learned that a huge punch from Dos Santos can easily put Velasquez down on the mat, which is something we also learned in Velasquez’s tilt with Cheick Kongo. We didn’t learn if Velasquez’s wrestling could play any significant role in getting the Brazilian to the canvas. Other than that, it’s hard to really analyze a fight that lasted 64 seconds.

From Velasquez’s fights with Silva, Lesnar, and Kongo, we know he can overwhelm men with never ending ground and pound strikes. But to state the obvious, Dos Santos isn’t those guys and won’t be put on his back as easily as those fighters. What we have here are two of the top three heavyweights in the world rematching a fight where the first bout¬† had as definitive an ending as a fight can have. Yet it’s still a possibility that this fight can have a totally different outcome than the first, or have the same ending, albeit a much later time. All I do know is that whoever walks out of the cage with the crown will have to face their toughest opponent yet – Alistair Overeem.

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