In a full, five-round beating on UFC 155 Saturday night, the world saw why Cain Velasquez's lone career loss was indeed a fluke.
Velasquez entered the highly anticipated heavyweight bout with champion Junior dos Santos as a major underdog after being knocked out in a little more than a minute by the same opponent just 13 months prior.
But it took just about as long Saturday night to notice which fighter was hungrier and more capable of gutting out the victory. Dos Santos hung around for the entire five rounds, but he was hardly contending to defend his title as much as he was trying to hold on for his own dignity.
Known more for his ground-and-pound style that utilizes getting his opponent to the floor, Velasquez excelled in executing his game plan while neutralizing dos Santos, who was constantly looking for a big punch reminiscent of the one that resulted in Velasquez's only loss.
That punch came back in November of 2011, when Velasquez was battling through a torn ACL that would've put most athletes on crutches. Instead, Velasquez carried on with the fight.
In their first meeting, he appeared reckless and seemed to give himself up too much, indicative of trying to end the fight quickly, which is against his usual style. Dos Santos, who excels in such a setting, put him down and claimed the championship.
Saturday, you saw exactly what a healthy Cain Velasquez is capable of. With no major injuries and proper training, nobody can stop his deadly takedowns and intense cardio.
Not even Junior dos Santos.
The younger dos Santos was no match for the shape of the 30-year-old Velasquez, and it showed as the beaten star was hardly recognizable after the fight ended.
Although dos Santos is famous for garnering knockouts in the first round, it wasn't indicative of how this rivalry should have gone down.
With both fighters healthy, it's obvious that Velasquez is superior.
What do you think? Hit me up on Twitter.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!