UFC 155: Cain Velasquez Gets Shot at Redemption After Last Year's Torn ACL

Shawn BrubakerContributor IIDecember 28, 2012

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 29:  UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez of the United States poses for a portrait at Tramway Oval on February 29, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Sixty-four seconds.

That's how long the first match between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos lasted. That's how long Velasquez was able to last.

Immediately, the critiques poured in. Velasquez was too reckless, too offensive and too easily hit. He heard the criticism, and Velasquez didn't disagree. He told Ben Fowlkes of MMAJunkie.com soon after the fight, "There's a certain way to be aggressive out there. You can't just run at somebody."

Velasquez has the strategy aspect of the fight down this time. He's going to fight smarter, and he's going to last longer.

More importantly, though, Velasquez has his health. 

In the last fight, Velasquez was fighting on a torn ACL. He and his handlers tried to downplay the injury's impact, but Velasquez was clearly affected. After all, who wouldn't be? A torn ACL is one of the most serious injuries one can face, and few athletes could even compete with one.

As valiant as Velasquez was in trying to fight, he never really had a chance with such a brutal injury. Examine the tape, what little there is of it, and you'll see a fighter who couldn't plant his foot, kick properly or move from side to side. Even the best fighter would lose when handicapped like that.

Now, Velasquez is healthy, able and ready for redemption. 

The popular consensus is that Velasquez will need to keep this fight on the ground to beat Dos Santos, something he was unable to do on his bum knee in the last fight. There are no guarantees, of course, but Velasquez should do a better job in this regard at least.

Worth mentioning is that Dos Santos was not 100 percent in the last fight either. This time, though, both fighters are healthy and ready for a long, grueling fight. That promises an exciting, knock-down, drag-it-out fight. At the very least, it can't be worse than the last one.