After losing to Cain Velasquez on Saturday night in UFC 155, former champion Junior Dos Santos must fight his rival for a third time since both men have split their first two bouts, with a victory apiece.
Even though the fight went the five-round maximum, it wasn't a close bout at all, as shown by the following statistics provided by ESPN.
SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 30, 2012
To rebuild his reputation and get back to the top of his division, Dos Santos has to fight Velasquez for a third time. Having a third match is the only way to prove which fighter is superior.
Despite his disappointing result on Saturday night, Dos Santos is still a top fighter in UFC's heavyweight class, and he has more experience than many of his possible opponents.
The 28-year-old still has an impressive 15-2 mixed martial arts record after being beaten by Velasquez, which caused his 10-fight winning streak to end.
Will Dos Santos and Velasquez fight for a 3rd time?
Dos Santos didn't fight aggressively enough on Saturday night, and he wasn't able to build any momentum because Velasquez started the bout so well. He was relentless, and didn't back down at all. The result was a well-earned victory for Velasquez.
There's no question that Dos Santos would be highly-motivated in a third fight and change his approach to have a better chance of beating Velasquez.
After two exciting fights, these two men—and the sport as a whole—deserve a third fight. Not only would it settle this rivalry, but the outcome would show us if Dos Santos is still a legitimate title contender.
Now that Velasquez has the UFC heavyweight title, expect Dos Santos to do everything possible to ensure that a third fight happens. His defeat on Saturday night will help motivate him to make another run toward the heavyweight championship.