Cain Velasquez got payback in a huge way against Junior dos Santos on Saturday night at UFC 155, pounding the champion for 25 minutes until he was forced to surrender his UFC heavyweight title belt.
Velasquez (11-1) won the UFC heavyweight championship for the second time in as many years, winning via unanimous decision and delivering dos Santos (15-2) just his second career loss. The final score read 50-45, 50-44, 50-43 in favor of the 30-year-old American.
Though some would consider the result surprising, the most shocking fact was that the fight lasted all five rounds. The two fighters' first meeting in November 2011 lasted 64 seconds, with dos Santos winning via a stunning first-round knockout. Coming into the weekend, I, like many others, predicted the fight would end within the first five minutes via knockout.
Of course, few outside of Velasquez's camp knew just how fast he would get out of the gates.
The challenger came out early looking almost too aggressive and energized, telegraphing his takedowns, but dictating the pace while controlling the center of the Octagon.
After a quiet first couple of minutes, Velasquez produced some early fireworks when he stunned dos Santos with a monster right hand, producing some anxious moments where it looked as if referee Herb Dean might stop the fight.
Thankfully, the Brazilian defended well enough, and Dean didn't have to.
If you ask me, the fight was won on the strength of Velasquez's remarkable first-round effort. Just as commentator Joe Rogan pointed out, his energy and constant assault seemed to overwhelm and demoralize dos Santos.
The last four rounds lacked the suspense of the first round, but were all won by Velasquez, who seemed to grow stronger and more confident as the fight wore on.
There's no question that Velasquez was better prepared for dos Santos this time around and was in an advantageous situation fighting as the challenger, but despite all of that, he still left nothing to debate.
Cain Velasquez's relentless assault on Junior dos Santos at UFC 155 Saturday night was as convincing a result as you or I will ever see inside the Octagon. These two will certainly meet again down the road, but for now we can only look back on their most recent exchange and conclude that Velasquez is the undeniable man to beat in the UFC's heavyweight division.
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