Velasquez vs. Silva: Early Knockout of Bigfoot Sets Up Must-See Rubber Match

Benjamin KleinContributor IIIMay 26, 2013

Who will win the third fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos?
Who will win the third fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos?Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

If you blinked, you might not have seen Cain Velasquez knock Antonio Silva out just over a minute into the first round of UFC 160’s heavyweight title bout Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Velasquez landed a quick right hand to the chin of Silva to knock him to the ground and then kept hitting him until the match was ended, giving the reigning champion the 12th win of his career.

The victory for Velasquez and a win from Junior dos Santos just a few minutes prior sets up a highly anticipated third matchup between the two.

Dos Santos defeated Velasquez at UFC of Fox 1 in November of 2011. But Velasquez got his revenge last December at UFC 155, winning the title in a unanimous decision. In his first title defense, Velasquez made things look very easy and will look to do the same once he takes the ring against dos Santos in the upcoming rubber match.

It will be extremely interesting to see what each takes from the previous two fights into the third.

It’s tough to pull anything from the first fight since it ended very quickly—one minute and four seconds to be precise. Dos Santos landed a huge punch and then pummeled Velasquez until the fight was called.

Dos Santos told the Associated Press, via The New York Times, the following after the first fight between the two:

I have no words to say what I’m feeling. It’s amazing, my life. I have a lot of good people around me. I think Cain Velasquez was for sure my toughest opponent. I was afraid to fight with him, because he’s very tough. I was not 100 percent for this fight, so I was scared.

The rematch is where dos Santos and Velasquez will be able to learn a lot since it went the distance. Each can watch the tape over and over, picking out what did and didn’t work. Considering dos Santos lost the fight, he’ll need to look into why he couldn’t overcome Velasquez—although I’m sure he remembers the fight like it was yesterday.

Velasquez told the Associated Press, via the NY Daily News, this after the rematch:

I knew that Junior was a tough striker and he was able to end our last fight that way, so I was prepared for him this time. I was able to effectively use my striking and my grappling to control him throughout the fight and get the title back.

Whether Velasquez can take dos Santos down might be the biggest storyline to watch. Velasquez was a two-time All-American wrestler back at Arizona State, but dos Santos is one of the best at defending takedowns, coming into Saturday night’s fight at a 74 percent defense rate.

But this third fight could end just as quickly as Saturday night’s co-feature did. Both dos Santos and Velasquez are strong and quick, meaning that one punch could do the job. Dos Santos knocked Velasquez out in just over a minute, and there’s no reason why the favor couldn’t be returned.  

One thing that’s for sure is that you cannot afford to miss the third fight between dos Santos and Velasquez. It’s a lock to be just as exciting, if not more, than their previous pair of bouts.