Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2: What a Win Means for Cain Velasquez

Kyle SymesCorrespondent IIIDecember 29, 2012

May 26, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cain Velasquez is covered with the blood of Antonio Silva (not pictured) during UFC 146 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC 155 main event features a climatic rematch between UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos and the No. 1 contender, Cain Velasquez.

Velasquez will be looking to get the title back around his waist for the first time since dropping it to dos Santos in Nov. of 2011. Velasquez faced Antonio "Big Foot" Silva at UFC 146 and put on one of the most dominant performances in recent memory.

The win earned Velasquez another crack at JDS and a chance to win the UFC heavyweight title. It's easy to pick dos Santos to win because he's already defeated the AKA fighter once and has the always dangerous, one-punch KO power.

But what would a win for Velasquez mean for the challenger?

For starters, it would give Velasquez some vindication for his dreadful performance in his first meeting with dos Santos. Velasquez has been extremely critical of his performance against JDS and seems to realize what he must do if he wants to take the title.

It also could quite possibly save Velasquez's UFC career.

I know a lot of people have fathomed the idea of Velasquez dropping to light heavyweight due to his "doughy figure," but I don't believe it's a plausible move for the former champion. Velasquez is a solid 240 pounds and has competed his whole life at heavyweight.

Moving to light heavyweight also takes away Velasquez's biggest advantage, which is his amazing cardio and ability to push a relentless pace.

If Velasquez doesn't manage to walk away victorious, it will be hard to imagine a scenario where he gets another title shot so long as JDS is champion. Velasquez needs the victory to keep his UFC champion dreams alive.

He matches up well with virtually every other fighter in the division outside of dos Santos. Therefore, Velasquez could be looking at his situation much the same way Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar saw themselves exiled from title contention after failing to capture a title in multiple tries.

Does Velasquez have the option to move to light heavyweight or willingness to compete without hope of a future title shot? For Velasquez and his fans' sake, let's hope he doesn't have to answer those tough questions.