Cain Velasquez left not even a shred of doubt at UFC 155 on Saturday night when he manhandled Junior dos Santos for five rounds and 25 minutes en route to the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Velasquez won a unanimous decision over dos Santos (50-45, 50-44, 50-43), evening the rivalry at one victory apiece.
With a third fight seemingly inevitable, considering the two men are arguably the best the division has to offer right now, let's take an early look at Velasquez-Dos Santos III, and break down what fans can expect if the champ and the challenger meet again inside the Octagon.
The heavyweight champion proved he is worthy of holding the belt on Saturday night, setting the tone from the opening horn, and going on to absolutely dominate his Brazilian foe.
Although fans should expect to see the same inspired Velasquez in a third go-around with dos Santos, know that he won't have the advantage of fighting from the underdog-like challenger role like he did at UFC 155. Still, his takedown power is tremendous and I'd give him the obvious advantage in another lengthy clash with dos Santos.
Velasquez has the athleticism and endurance to maintain an aggressive pace for as long as the fight lasts, and that asset makes him the most lethal heavyweight on the planet, hands down.
With Velasquez motivated to successfully defend his title belt the second time around, the 30-year-old would be every bit as fired up as he was Saturday night in Vegas.
Let's put it this way: In a rematch, I like Velasquez again.
Junior dos Santos
Like Velasquez at UFC 155, fans should anticipate a more aggressive Junior dos Santos. The Brazilian came out flat on Saturday night, and it cost him. Velasquez was able to seize the momentum early and by the second round, the beating dos Santos had taken during the first round had his legs ready to collapse from under him.
Who would you pick right now in a rematch?
Expect to see a fiery Cigano, a fighter similar to the one we saw in the first fight in November 2011.
In my eyes, dos Santos would have to soar out of the gates once again and earn a quick knockout in order to survive Velasquez. I don't like his chances going up against the champion over the course of five rounds.
His odds increase of course if he can keep the fight standing, but I'm not sure he can do that. Therefore, look for Junior dos Santos to come out swinging and with better pace (much like what we saw against Velasquez the first time), aiming to knockout his rival for a second time for the title.
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