UFC 160 saw the top two heavyweights finish both of their opponents to line themselves up for a third fight.
UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez defeated Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva quickly to retain his strap in the night's main event. The co-main event was the Fight of the Night. Junior dos Santos knocked out Mark Hunt after two-plus rounds of striking action.
Now, the trilogy is all but set.
Cain Velasquez will likely defend the gold against Junior dos Santos later this year.
Here is a head-to-toe breakdown of the third installment.
There is no doubt who won the striking battle in the first meeting; it was Cain Velasquez. With that said, on paper, he is not the better striker.
Dos Santos is the better pure striker. There should be universal agreement on that front.
The former heavyweight champion is a very skilled striker who is coming off a KO win over a K-1 World Champion. He moves very well and is incredibly quick with his strikes. He is continually adding new techniques to his attacks.
Velasquez is no slouch, and is technically sound. However, when making the call of who has the edge, it has to be tipped towards Dos Santos. He's just the better pure striker of the two.
Edge: Dos Santos
This is clear as day, too. Velasquez is an All-American who has transitioned his wrestling very well to the cage.
Velasquez has routinely shown his wrestling abilities. The worry about Velasquez's wrestling allows him to stun opponents with his striking. His ability to mix things up improves both facets of his game.
Dos Santos is an underrated wrestler in his own right, but he's not on Velasquez's level.
When they meet for the third time, Velasquez will need to go back to his roots once more. His game is predicated on establishing his grappling.
This is the area where we don't know much about either man.
They are rarely called on to show their defensive skills, and they prefer to pound on their opponents offensively. They each train with credible instructors who will have taught them a variety of submission options.
If forced to give an edge to either man, conventional wisdom says to select Dos Santos.
He has trained under the Nogueira brothers for some time, and holds Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in high esteem. Minotauro is a jiu-jitsu legend in the sport of MMA, and he knows how to utilize it the sport better than most.
This is most likely a push, but I am not riding a fence. I'll give the nod to Dos Santos.
Edge: Dos Santos
JDS' X-Factor: Keeping Cain Outside
In the second meeting between the two elite heavyweights, Dos Santos was routinely put down. He was able to pop back up, but Velasquez was relentless in his attempts to bring him back down. He gave Dos Santos no space.
Dos Santos needs to keep Velasquez on the outside.
He can do this by circling away, defending the takedown and establishing his jab.
If he can maintain the distance, he will have a great shot at getting the title back around his waist.
Velasquez's X-Factor: Movement
Dos Santos has fast hands and big power. Velasquez needs to make sure his movement is on point.
Foot work and head movement will keep him out of danger on the feet, and that will allow Velasquez to close the distance at the right moments against Dos Santos, a crucial element to their fights.
Velasquez is able to cover ground quickly, and when he gets his hands on someone, he gives them no breathing room. He just needs to make sure he moves well to not be a sitting duck for Dos Santos.
These two are head and shoulders above the rest of the heavyweight pack, but I think Velasquez is a bit above Dos Santos, too.
Dos Santos had the opportunity at UFC 160 to show off his takedown and submission skills against an overmatched opponent. Instead, he chose to outstrike him. It was an impressive feat in itself, but it didn't prove anything. We already know he's a marvelous striker.
There was nothing done at UFC 160 to make anyone think the rematch will look different than UFC 155. Dos Santos can knock out anyone, but Velasquez just has to avoid that one power shot.
Velasquez will be on point in their rematch, and eventually earn the stoppage.
Prediction: Velasquez defeats Dos Santos by TKO in the fourth round