UFC 155: How Would a Cain Velasquez-Junior Dos Santos Rubber Match Play Out?

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UFC 155: How Would a Cain Velasquez-Junior Dos Santos Rubber Match Play Out?
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Junior dos Santos should temper his desire to fight Cain Velasquez again seeing as a rubber match between the two wouldn't go his way.

After a brutal loss at UFC 155 that saw the former heavyweight champ dominated like never before, Dos Santos spoke with Brazilian media outlet SporTV about how he already longed for a rematch. 

"I want [a rematch] now, soon," he said. "I won the first and he had a rematch. Now I lost and I want my rematch. I'm saying I want this fight. I'll get my belt."

Bold words from a man who had his face rearranged for 25 minutes.

Velasquez nearly knocked out dos Santos in the first round, then controlled the Brazilian with superior wrestling and periodically battered him with strikes. In fact, Velasquez's performance was so dominant that it was record-setting

However, dos Santos has already realized what went wrong for him during the fight: 

I used the wrong strategy. I was very worried about his entry in my legs and left face unprotected. So he hit me. When I was on the floor, I should have used more jiu-jitsu, I trained so much. But I tried to (get) back up, and it hurt me too, but on the ground [he] is very good, very strong. I did not connect any punches good, even. It was bad because I was feeling very well, did a great training camp, everything was just right.

Dos Santos is right in some ways, but realizing what went wrong and actively being able to change it are two different things.

At JDS-Velasquez I, Velasquez made the mistake of not closing the distance fast enough. Standing right in dos Santo's range even for a minute was too costly an error. Velasquez paid for it with his consciousness. 

Velasquez adopted a smarter approach in the second fight.

He constantly pressured and smothered JDS from start to finish. Dos Santos eluded the first few takedown attempts. He also managed to spring back up from Velasquez's initial successful takedowns

However, like he said above, Velasquez's constant pressure forced him to focus too much on the takedowns. It made him forget about his forte—striking. 

A rematch wouldn't be different.

Velasquez has the tools to beat dos Santos, and at UFC 155 he found the strategy: pressure, pressure, pressure.

If dos Santos doesn't have the space to land his trademark uppercut or any other power-punch—or if he's on his back—he can't win.

In JDS' talk with SporTV he did mention his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but we've never actually seen him use it. Furthermore, it's unlikely that he'd be able to submit a strong, dominant wrestler like Velasquez.

Thus, dos Santos' only hope in a potential rubber match would be to clip Velasquez while he comes in close for a takedown or clinch. 

But in all likelihood, a JDS-Velasquez III ends in another unanimous for Cain Velasquez, he's just tailor-made to beat a fighter like Junior dos Santos.

 

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