Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2 and the 5 Best Championship Rematches in UFC History
Dominating dos Santos in pretty much every aspect of the MMA game to take the unanimous decision, Velasquez regained the heavyweight title in this action-packed fight.
Despite getting soundly beaten, dos Santos showed a champion's heart and left it all in the Octagon, making it the latest addition to the UFC's number of exciting title rematches.
Here are the top five championship rematches in the promotion's history.
5. UFC 65 - Matt Hughes vs. Georges St-Pierre 2
Before Georges St-Pierre became the king of the UFC's welterweight division, Matt Hughes was the man ruling the weight class.
In their first encounter at UFC 50, the veteran UFC Hall of Famer was able to catch the young Canadian with an armbar with only seconds left in the first round to retain the 170-pound title.
St-Pierre was determined to not let that happen again and made good on his promise at UFC 65. In a changing of the guard, GSP emphatically took the welterweight crown by finishing the longtime champ with a huge head kick and elbow strikes.
Highlighted by this brutal finish, this was definitely the most exciting fight in their trilogy.
4. UFC 155 - Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez 2
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Headlining Saturday's UFC 155, the dos Santos-Velasquez rematch was a radically different fight from their first meeting at UFC on Fox 1.
As the first bout to grace the network's airwaves, dos Santos made sure that it was a quick one by knocking Velasquez out with an overhand right a little over a minute into the first round. The Brazilian was able to snatch the heavyweight crown, but not for long.
As we saw this weekend, Velasquez was way more aggressive and was constantly pressuring "Cigano" standing up, against the cage and especially with ground-and-pound strikes on the mat.
Dos Santos was never able to get into a rhythm, but he showed the heart of a warrior by continually fighting back despite losing a ton of power in his punches.
Velasquez's constant attack, combined with dos Santos' refusal to quit, is what made this bout so exciting to watch.
3. UFC 100 - Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir 2
Image via MMA Weekly
In their first battle at UFC 81, Mir's black-belt BJJ skills truly shined as he caught the former WWE star with a kneebar a minute and a half into the first round. Lesnar was left fuming after that loss leading to a ton of trash-talking between the two in the months following.
Lesnar would go on to take the heavyweight crown and Mir went on to win the interim title, so a title unification and rematch bout was set for UFC 100.
This time around, the former NCAA wrestling champ would put a beating on Mir, culminating in a second-round TKO finish. Still angry at his opponent, Lesnar got in the former champ's face and even flipped off the crowd while still in the Octagon.
Lesnar's spectacular finish mixed with all the in-cage drama and bad blood is what made this such a fun fight to watch.
2. UFC 148 - Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen 2
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Another bout filled with tons of bad blood, the lengthy saga between UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen was the topic du jour almost every day leading into their eventual rematch at UFC 148.
Sonnen shocked the world in their first fight at UFC 117, repeatedly taking the champ down and beating him with ground-and-pound strikes for nearly five full rounds. However, the always game Silva waited for the right moment to pounce and locked in a last-second triangle choke to submit the challenger.
With tons of trash talking and bashing by Sonnen as he awaited another crack at the champ, he finally got his wish at UFC 148.
"The Spider" seemed to have a fire lit under him going into this rematch and he made sure Sonnen felt his anger. Despite getting taken down in the first round, Silva was a lot lighter on his feet in the second frame, allowing him to capitalize on the American's eventual mistake.
Falling to the ground after a failed spinning backfist, Sonnen opened himself up to a huge knee that Silva threw to the midsection and effectively ended his night.
With so much hype and anticpation going into this bout, the beautiful finish brutally ended their exciting saga.
1. UFC 125 - Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard 2
Image via Sherdog
During Frankie Edgar's lightweight title reign, there were few 155ers who could handle his technique and explosiveness.
The only man to defeat him up to that point was Gray Maynard, who soundly beat Edgar to take the decision in their first bout back in 2008. Blasting his way to a shot at the belt, Maynard was poised to put on a similar performance in their rematch at UFC 125.
At the beginning of the fight, Maynard was in full control and nearly finished the champ, who miraculously weathered the onslaught. As Edgar proceeded to fire off some of his own shots and strikes as the bout went on, the fight turned into an all-out, back-and-forth war.
With the judges scoring this bout a draw, it didn't stop them from taking Fight of the Year honors. Edgar would go on to win the rubber match with an exciting knockout at UFC 136, but their UFC 125 rematch will go down as one of the most exciting rematches in MMA history.