If you could sum up what Cain Velasquez's win over Junior dos Santos means in a word, that word would be redemption. After suffering an embarrassing 64-second loss to dos Santos in November 2011, exorcising his demons was the biggest feat of his MMA career.
At UFC 155 at MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, he regained the UFC heavyweight title that he held for just under 11 months—which included zero successful defenses—after he smashed Brock Lesnar in October of 2010.
Because of the history, this win had to mean even more than that one.
Many view Lesnar's tenure as champion as a bit of a joke, and many could have dismissed Velasquez's short stint as a farce as well. Dos Santos' overhand right sent Velasquez reeling in 2011, and the Brazilian went on to hammer Frank Mir in May to add some credence to his title reign.
Without gaining his revenge against dos Santos, Velasquez's career and title reign could have been easily forgotten. The win brought his MMA record to 11-1, and dropped dos Santos to 15-2.
The UFC heavyweight belt continues to be perhaps the hardest title to hold on to in the organization. In the history of the championship, no man has ever defended the title more than twice.
Velasquez will get his second opportunity to hold on to the title for longer than two bouts, but you can almost bet we'll see a third fight with dos Santos at some point. It seems only right that a rubber match would be had to settle the series.
Of course, Alistair Overeem is lurking and hoping to get his shot, but it has been a while since two heavyweights were able to create a rivalry in the UFC. This could be great for the division.
With Velasquez's win, we can officially use the R-word when describing he and dos Santos' series.
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