When Brock Lesnar stepped into the Octagon against Cain Velasquez on October 23, 2010, the “Tale of the Tape” indicated that he possessed an advantage over Velasquez in height, weight and reach. When the two stepped together for the pre-fight staredown, those paper advantages were clearly visible. Lesnar looked like he was fighting in another weight division; he was that much bigger than Velasquez.
Height, weight and reach advantages weren’t the only things Lesnar carried with him into the cage at UFC 121, he also had the odds in his favor—and oh yeah, the UFC heavyweight title belt was in his possession.
Less than five minutes after the fight began, Velasquez showed everyone that fights are not won or lost on paper.
The champion opened the fight by bull-rushing his smaller challenger and looking for the takedown, something the two-time All-American from Arizona State had no interest in giving up. A second attempt from Lesnar did secure a brief advantage, but Velasquez was able to regain his feet without sustaining any damage.
When a third takedown attempt gave him nothing, more question marks had to begin to fill Lesnar’s mind.
Velasquez remained calm, and when the opening came he took it, securing single-leg takedown. From there, the question marks in Lesnar’s head had to be accompanied by exclamation points as the champion ate some leather on the ground.
Lesnar was able to get to his feet, but his face showed no confidence at all. When a missed half-hearted takedown attempt left Lesnar spinning around the Octagon like an out-of-control top, it was the beginning of the end. Velasquez pounced on the champ and picked his spots, finding openings for his ground strikes and leaving the champ a cowering, bloody mess who was saved from further abuse only by the mercy of referee Herb Dean.
The end came at the 4:12 mark of Round 1 and the UFC had a new heavyweight champion in Cain Velasquez.
Velasquez’s reign was brief, losing the title to Junior dos Santos in his first defense. However, the title is back in his possession after defeating dos Santos in a one-sided affair at UFC 155.
Velasquez will look to defend the title when he faces Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC 160, which will take place on May 25 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.