UFC 160 is in the books, and Cain Velasquez is still the UFC heavyweight division's kingpin. His knockout win over Antonio Silva was hardly surprising, but the ease with which he achieved it can only be counted impressive.
Looking back on the action, there are a handful of notable takeaways worth consideration. Since the fight took all of 1:21 to complete, there are only so many things to be gleaned from the match, but some are quite significant as we move onward and upward through the 2013 MMA scene.
For perspective on the matchup itself, Silva's place in the division and the general state of the heavyweight division, read on.
From UFC 146
You can say that hindsight is 20/20, but we had already seen it once before, so it's not like the assessment is based on the UFC 160 result. It is grounded in the first time Velasquez obliterated Silva.
This time around, it was even more of a blowout. Simply put, Velasquez is on a level that Silva probably will never even approach.
And while that same thing could be said for much of the heavyweight division, was it really necessary to have Silva go at Cain twice within a year?
I'm not saying he is there yet, but Velasquez is a rare talent with the potential to etch his name into a preeminent place in heavyweight lore.
His combination of athleticism, speed, endurance and being well-rounded makes him a truly dominant fighter, perhaps the best the UFC heavyweight division has ever produced.
There's that one guy, Fedor Emelianenko, who accomplished far more than Velasquez has to this point (outside the UFC), but don't put it past Velasquez to one day replicate or exceed the accomplishments of the storied Russian.
Though he recently defeated Travis Browne and Alistair Overeem, Silva looked slooooooow Saturday night against Velasquez.
And when you consider his knockout of Browne was preceded by the Hawaiian injuring his leg and the fact that Overeem was butchering Silva until the third round, those accomplishments do less to challenge the inadequate speed theory than you might think.
Granted, Velasquez is a particularly quick heavyweight. But then again, would you like Silva's chances exchanging with a guy like Junior dos Santos? Or Mark Hunt? Or Roy Nelson? With so much power in the division, getting hit is just not an option.
His size and the fact that he has more than striking to his game means he's a dangerous heavyweight, but his lack of speed just may disqualify him as elite.
This takeaway incorporates a little something from the co-main event, but I'm including it all the same.
Right now, Cain Velasquez is the champion and the best heavyweight on the planet. Junior dos Santos is knocking on the door. Everyone else, with the contentious exception of Daniel Cormier, is not even close.
There are some good heavyweights active right now, but none compare to those two (or three if you're a Cormier believer). The division is theirs to fight over, and it shouldn't be long before they do just that for a third time.
Their respective performances Saturday night were spectacular, and in piggybacking off my last slide, I declare that it is time to book the rubber match.
My declaration might not mean a whole lot, but I do think that it will prove consistent with reality—and as well it should. The pairing is the most interesting available at heavyweight, and both guys deserve the chance to settle the score in their favor.
The division sure has come a long way since Tim Sylvia vs. Andrei Arlovski III, no?