Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez defeated Junior sos Santos via TKO in the fifth round in the main event of UFC 166 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Once again, it was Velasquez's ability to apply constant pressure that ensured he remain atop the UFC's heavyweight division. He survived some early blows from dos Santos in Round 1 before settling into a game plan that involved slowly wearing down his opponent against the cage.
Velasquez nearly finished the fight in the third frame when he landed a strong overhand right to dos Santos' jaw. Referee Herb Dean almost stopped the bout at that point, but as it turned out, he was only delaying the inevitable.
The champion continued dominating the fight in the fourth and finished off the challenger in the fifth and final round.
This was the third fight in the duo’s longstanding feud—dos Santos won the first matchup with a first-round knockout and Velasquez regained the title in their second meeting with a decision win—and the perfect culmination of an intense heavyweight rivalry.
Would you like to see a fourth chapter in this rivalry?
Velasquez and dos Santos have always matched up well because neither is a typical heavyweight fighter. With both men possessing elite speed and stamina—attributes bigger fighters typically lack—this trilogy has been everything fans hoped for and more.
It was clear that Velasquez was the better volume striker over the course of this fight, but dos Santos' raw power and striking ability were also on showcase. While this rubber match will likely be the last in this feud, another chapter down the road would surely have the support of MMA fans.
Now that Velasquez has beat dos Santos again and eliminated him from title contention for the time being, the natural question now becomes who the champion will fight next.
FOX Sports writer Mike Chiappetta has the latest from Dana White:
Dana: "Werdum's probably next (for Velasquez). It makes the most sense." #UFC166— Mike Chiappetta MMA (@MikeChiappetta) October 20, 2013
After a battle between Daniel Cormier and Roy Nelson earlier in the night—Cormier soundly defeated Nelson via decision—the next fight for Velasquez would logically come against Cormier. However, D.C. has made it clear that he intends to drop down to the light heavyweight division, making Velasquez's likely opponent Brazilian Fabricio Werdum.