Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez: Final Preview and Prediction

Tim McTiernanCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2012

May 26, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Junior Dos Santos before the start of the match against Frank Mir (not pictured) during UFC 146 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight from Las Vegas, the UFC heavyweight title is on the line between Junior "Cigano" dos Santos, and the former champion, Cain Velasquez.

Dos Santos and Velasquez have met before, at the first UFC on Fox card last November. In that fight, dos Santos knocked out Velasquez in 64 seconds and became the new champion.

From there, both fighters would compete again at UFC 146, although against different opponents. Dos Santos would defend his heavyweight title against the former champion, Frank Mir, and Velasquez would face off against Antonio Silva in his first UFC fight. Dos Santos beat Mir by second-round TKO and Velasquez beat Silva by first-round TKO.

Tonight, dos Santos and Velasquez will meet for a second time, this time with dos Santos as champion. The first fight between these two lasted only 64 seconds, but there is still plenty that can be taken from that.

Velasquez was throwing a lot of leg kicks, and his game plan clearly involved taking away the lead leg of dos Santos. Additionally, expect Velasquez to shoot early and shoot often. He has seen the power of dos Santos, and he doesn't want to see it again.

Dos Santos is going to do what he always does: stand up with his opponents, avoid takedowns and pick his opponents apart with his boxing. Dos Santos has incredible speed and power, and he will use that to his advantage, as he always does.

Many are saying that the first fight between these two was a fluke, or that Velasquez's knee injury affected the fight heavily. That may or may not be true, but don't expect anything to change this time around. Dos Santos will still come out with a knockout victory, it just won't be as fast as last time.

By the fourth round, dos Santos will land an uppercut and put Cain out cold to defend his title and tie the record for most consecutive UFC heavyweight title defenses.


Tim McTiernan is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. For the latest news on everything MMA, follow him on Twitter @TimMcTiernan.