It's hard enough obtaining a rematch with such a dominating champion like dos Santos—especially after getting brutally knocked out by him in their first meeting—so I doubt Velasquez will be granted a third crack at the Brazilian should he lose in similar fashion on Saturday night. However, that doesn't mean the end of the former champ's title run.
Despite the additions of some of mixed martial arts' top-ranked heavyweights to the UFC's roster over the past few years, there is still a large disparity in talent between the upper echelon of the division and the rest of the pack. Other than Alistair Overeem and possibly Fabricio Werdum, there aren't really any other top contenders emerging from the pack.
Well, until Daniel Cormier joins the UFC ranks.
If dos Santos Wins, Is That the End of Velasquez's Title Run?
But if dos Santos wins at UFC 155 and goes on to lose to the likes of an Overeem, Velasquez can easily get back into the title picture with a win over another top-ranked heavyweight. I actually think the former champ stacks up well against Overeem and could beat him—and pretty much every one else in the division except for dos Santos—should they face each other down the line.
Velasquez could also get another crack at dos Santos if the Brazilian wins by either a close decision or through some freak, controversial action.
Like with the myriad of other close title fights in recent years like the Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen saga or any of the lightweight title fight rematches involving Frankie Edgar, it's pretty easy to make your case for a rematch if the fight is really close or if the judges have to get involved. While I don't see this fight going to a decision by any means, stranger things have happened in MMA.
But none of this matters if Velasquez ends up unconscious on the Octagon floor again this Saturday night. If he wants that belt back, UFC 155 is his best shot at reclaiming his former glory.