UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez has been down this road before.
To make a fight interesting, people start saying stuff like, "He's due for a letdown." "He can't keep this up forever." "All it takes is one punch."
But while it's true that Velasquez can't do this forever, don't expect him to suffer a letdown in a rematch against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva on Saturday in UFC 160.
The last time the 30-year-old out of San Jose faced Silva, he demolished him, scoring a TKO on punches in the first round.
Since then, Velasquez has gone on to capture the UFC heavyweight championship, against Junior Dos Santos, no less. The victory via unanimous decision was a bit of payback for Dos Santos handing him the sole loss of his career in November 2011.
Silva is expecting to do the same against Velasquez as Velasquez did against Dos Santos, but he's simply not in the same class as Velasquez. Few are.
We all know what Velasquez can do inside the Octagon. His combination of speed and power standing up is virtually unrivaled. Of his 11 victories, nine have come via knockout. He won't submit you on the ground, but he doesn't need to. All he needs to do is get position and let his hands go.
Silva's best bet is land first. It's as simple as that. He has the power to knock out Velasquez, with 13 knockouts in 18 career fights.
But landing against Velasquez, especially when you could be one punch away from hitting the canvass yourself, is easier said than done. Silva isn't the kind of fighter who will out-box you, so that figures to be a problem against his more talented opponent.
Silva's best chance is to catch Velasquez sleeping or unprepared. But, given Velasquez's professionalism and work ethic throughout the years, that's highly doubtful. In fact, he's said as much headed into the fight.
Velasquez said, via ESPN UK:
In the first fight, I didn't overlook him, and I'm not going to overlook him now. He's very dangerous. I'm not following in the footsteps of others who've made that mistake. I'm taking this fight very seriously.
Whenever Velasquez takes a fight seriously (which is all the time), opponents tend to hit the deck. With respect to Silva, I don't see that changing on Saturday in Las Vegas.
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