Cain Velasquez successfully retained his heavyweight title at UFC 160. It was the first time back in the Octagon since he took the championship from Junior dos Santos, who also made a statement Saturday night with a devastating third-round spinning-kick knockout of Mark Hunt.
Obviously another rematch is in order for the top two heavyweights in the organization. UFC president Dana White wholeheartedly agrees.
Via USA Today on Twitter:
White didn’t hesitate to decide on the third fight between the two immediately after the conclusion of UFC 160, according to Mike Whitman of Sherdog.com.
“[It’s a] no-brainer,” White said. “If there was ever a trilogy, that’s it right there. They’re the two best heavyweights in the world.”
This third installment between Velasquez and dos Santos is certainly compelling and has the potential to match the allure of former light heavyweight legends Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture. Those two helped build the UFC brand with their epic encounters.
While Velasquez is certainly a dominant figure, there is no telling what dos Santos will throw at him in their next bout. His spinning-heel kick KO was highly uncharacteristic and shocked us as much as it did Hunt.
Does he have more of that innovation within to recapture the UFC heavyweight championship?
Well, dos Santos did win the first of the two previous matchups between the two fighters. He didn’t just win it, though. The 28-year-old Brazilian fighter knocked out the current champion just 64 seconds into the first round to capture the title.
It was his opponent who struck first in their next encounter.
Velasquez rebounded from his first MMA loss (to dos Santos) to steal the championship back at UFC 155. He scored a unanimous decision after a dominant five-round performance (50-45, 50-43, 50-44). Velasquez set the tone with an early right hand that caught the champ. From there, it was his fight to lose as he was relentless with repeated takedowns, effective grappling and imposing ring-control ability.
That sets us up for the ensuing finale to this exciting trilogy. And it’s sure to live up to expectations. No matter what happens in Velasquez-dos Santos 3, one of these two top heavyweights will etch himself in stone as one of the best the UFC has ever offered.
Seeing that drama unfold and crowning a winner between these two heavyweights is more than enough to draw even the most casual spectator to the sport.
Get ready for fireworks.