Well, that was fast. Faster than the original, even.
On May 26, 2012, Cain Velasquez crushed Antonio Silva in 3:36 to earn a second shot at the UFC heavyweight title. One year later, Velasquez finished Silva in 1:20 to retain the heavyweight title he recaptured from Junior dos Santos.
Things started out slowly, with Silva escaping an early Velasquez takedown attempt. But shortly after, the champion landed a clean left/right punch combo that dropped Silva face-first to the mat. Velasquez moved to Silva's side and landed repeated punches until referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the fight.
Here's what we learned Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas:
This Was Always Going to Be the Outcome
I didn't know how early this fight would end, but I predicted a first-round finish for Velasquez. He's simply worlds better than Silva; for that matter, he's worlds better than any other heavyweight on the planet. And yes, that includes dos Santos, but we'll get to that in a moment.
Silva earned the opportunity he got Saturday night, but he was overmatched in a big way. Velasquez was a -950 favorite at the MGM sportsbook by the time the fight started, and rightly so. He was better in every area than Silva, and this was the expected outcome.
Bring on Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3
By virtue of his performance against the incredibly durable Mark Hunt, nobody can deny that Dos Santos has earned a rematch with Velasquez for the title. I expect that fight to take place late this year, most likely in a yet-unconfirmed show in Houston.
Dos Santos is an incredible boxer, and he's likely the best fighter Velasquez can possibly face at the moment since teammate Daniel Cormier isn't an option as an opponent. The former champion scored an unbelievable spinning wheel kick knockout over Hunt, but he also beat the K-1 champion to the punch for the entirety of their fight.
Dos Santos has earned his opportunity, and plenty of folks will be interested in the third fight.
But for me, I still consider Velasquez a heavy favorite going into the third bout. I truly believe that Velasquez is easily the best heavyweight in the world, and he's one of the very best fighters on the planet, regardless of weight class.
I suspect that the third fight will look a lot like the second meeting between the two, but that doesn't mean I'm not interested in seeing it.
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