After a year filled with injuries and canceled fights, the UFC did not pull any punches Saturday night as UFC 155 featured one of the best main and co-main event combinations of 2012.
Heavyweight Cain Velasquez proved once again why he's one of the baddest men in mixed martial arts with his five round domination of Junior dos Santos, vehemently taking back his UFC crown while exacting his revenge for their UFC on Fox fight in the process.
The Brazilian did not go quietly into the night, however, as dos Santos showed the heart of a champion, never backing down and continuing to fight back until the last bell rang.
The warrior spirit seemed to be the theme of Saturday night's event as the co-main event battle between lightweight grappling aces Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon also featured a fantastic display of grit and heart. While Miller took the lopsided decision, "J-Lau" never stopped fighting back despite getting absurdly bloodied up and bruised in the process.
In both matchups, the level of talent and technique was pretty much even between the fighters in the various areas of MMA. But rather than negate each other's gameplans, the aggressiveness by the victors and the unwillingness to quit by both dos Santos and Lauzon combined to create two epic and exciting fights.
Velasquez and Miller always seemed to be pushing the pressure, attacking with strikes and takedowns that really took the energy out of their opponents, especially in the opening frame. However, neither fighter got too overly aggressive and instead chose to employ more patient gameplans that simply wore down on dos Santos and Lauzon.
To their credit, neither "Cigano" nor "J-Lau" stopped fighting back as dos Santos constantly looked to land punches on the inside while Lauzon kept trying to land a last minute submission, highlighted by a late flying heel hook attempt in the final seconds of the fight.
Since neither side was willing to quit, that highlight reel finish was left by the wayside, but a necessary sacrifice as it culminated into two barnburners.
While 2012 has been filled with a ton of great bouts, there have been few main and co-main event combinations that can match the two featured at UFC 155.
A few possible challengers that come to mind include the UFC on Fox 4 bouts between Shogun Rua and Brandon Vera and between Joe Lauzon and Jamie Varner, but the later fight was one slot away from co-main event status, so it doesn't really count.
Same goes for the UFC on Fox 3 bouts between Nate Diaz and Jim Miller and between Alan Belcher and Rousimar Palhares - two exciting fights, but the later was not a co-main event.
Because of this, UFC 155 really stands alone this year as having the best main and co-main event combination.