A date has been set for the rubber match between Junior dos Santos and current UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. Dana White has confirmed to ESPN the third heavyweight-title fight will take place on October 19 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Velasquez defeated dos Santos by unanimous decision at UFC 156 in December of last year. It was the highly anticipated rematch after dos Santos dethroned Velasquez at the first UFC on FOX card back in November 2011.
Since the rematch in December, both dos Santos and the current champion won their next fights. Velasquez easily dispatched Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC 160, while dos Santos knocked out Mark Hunt with a spinning back kick in the last minute of the third round in the co-main event on the same card. The latter would win “Fight of the Night.”
The trilogy fight will headline what will likely be UFC 166, the third-ever UFC fight card at the Toyota Center. UFC 69 and UFC 136 were the two prior events to take place in the arena.
Both of those main events were historic, as Matt Serra had one of the greatest upsets in UFC history defeating Georges St Pierre at UFC 69 on April 7, 2007, while Frankie Edgar completed his trilogy with Gray Maynard with a knockout victory on October 8, 2011.
Velasquez is currently the No.6-ranked fighter on the UFC's pound-for-pound rankings, and the AKA-team member will be seeking his second straight title defense.
As dos Santos is the No.1-ranked UFC heavyweight contender, he will be trying to reclaim the belt he once owned and atone for the embarrassing defeat he suffered in the rematch.
Many experts agree that in the heavyweight division, it’s Velasquez and dos Santos at the top, then everybody else. There is a strong possibility that these two heavyweights could collide again after the third encounter in Houston.
White told ESPN it depends on how the fight unfolds: "I think if Cain wins the fight as impressively as he did the last one, it'd be tough to do that fight again," White said.
Michael Stets is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report