Junior vs Cain: Where Does Their Battle Rank Among Heavyweight Title Fights
In the 15-year history of UFC heavyweight title fights, no champion has ever looked as awe-inspiring as Cain Velasquez. At UFC 155 in Las Vegas on Saturday night, he dominated one of the baddest men on the planet—ripping the belt back from Junior Dos Santos after unexpectedly losing it to him in 2011.
It's not like Velasquez had it all his own way. Dos Santos stayed in the fight to the bitter end, always threatening a dramatic turnaround with his legendary fists. But Velasquez’s pace and power was relentless, barely giving his opponent breathing space from which to launch a comeback.
As far as UFC title fights go, this was an all-out war that took the new champ into deeper waters than he’d ever been in before. Until UFC 155, Velasquez had only gone to the judges scorecard once, against Cheick Kongo at UFC 99 in 2009. Since that time, he’s assaulted almost everyone in his path, including Brock Lesnar—the man who he demolished to become champion the first time around.
That fight never got out of the first round as the smaller Velasquez out-wrestled the behemoth and battered his face with a barrage of punches.
Dos Santos made far more of a fight of it than Lesnar did, forcing Velasquez to dig deep, always patient, but worn out at the end of the contest nonetheless.
That made the fight are rarity in the heavyweight division—a five-round war that thrilled to the bitter end.
Few UFC heavyweight title fights have been fought at such a pace and delivered so much in violent action. Lesnar’s two-round demolition of Frank Mir springs to mind, but only in terms of its brutality.
Dos Santos did not wilt like Mir did.
However, the Brazilian proved hopelessly unmatched against Velasquez. As such, we’re unlikely to see the sort of back-and-forth contests that we saw in the trilogy of fights between former UFC heavyweight champs Andrei Arlovski and Tim Silvia.
Velasquez demonstrated himself a class above any heavyweight out there at the moment, except perhaps his teammate Daniel Cormier. Which means, unless Dos Santos does something dramatically different, a rematch will likely go the same way.
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