Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2: Win Sets Up Logical Rubber Match with Junior Dos Santos
Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos are too good to fight anyone else but each other.
If that wasn't already clear, it became painfully—at least for Antonio Silva and Mark Hunt—obvious during UFC 160 on Saturday night.
Let's start with Velasquez, who defended his UFC heavyweight title in deja vu fashion.
Fighting Silva almost exactly one year after knocking out the Brazilian in three minutes, it didn't seem possible that the rematch could be any more lopsided.
Well, it was.
Shortly after the initial bell rang, Velasquez connected with a massive right hand before crushing Bigfoot with a barrage of follow-up punches. Eighty-one seconds later, it was all over.
Just before that fight, dos Santos was cementing his position as the No. 1 contender to Velasquez's title with an impressive spinning heel kick and knockout of Hunt.
Hunt lasted longer than Silva in his respective match, but unfortunately for him, all that meant in the end was that he was beaten up for longer.
Dos Santos controlled the first two rounds with an array of power punches that had his opponent faltering, and with time running down in the third round, he connected with the vicious knockout.
Two different wins, yet also two similar wins in how assertive and dominant they were.
Some may not want to see a third fight between Velasquez and dos Santos simply because it has already happened twice in the last two years, but it seems all but inevitable when you read UFC President Dana White's words, via Ben Fowlkes of USA Today:
"No-brainer," UFC President Dana White said at the post-fight press conference, when asked whether Velasquez-dos Santos III would be the next UFC heavyweight title fight. "If there was ever a trilogy, that's it right there. If you look at the way both fights went – Junior destroys (Velasquez) in the first fight, Cain destroys (dos Santos) in the second fight – I can't wait to see the third fight."
And inevitable it should be.
Who should champion Cain Velasquez fight next?
Dos Santos is 16-2. He is the No. 2 heavyweight in the world, according to the UFC's consensus media rankings, and knocked out Velasquez in one minute in November 2011.
Velasquez is 12-1. He is the No. 1 heavyweight in the world and thoroughly beat down dos Santos in the December 2012 rematch.
While there are a few intriguing challengers in the heavyweight division, there is no better potential fight than the clear-cut No. 1 vs. the clear-cut No. 2 in a rubber match. And it's not even close.
It's not often that a trilogy is this appealing, but a third fight between Velasquez and dos Santos—now more than ever—serves as both a scintillating and appropriate option.
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