The heavy-handed Brazilian found victory via overhand right in their first meeting at UFC on Fox 1 in 2011, and the former Arizona State University wrestling standout returned the favor in prolonged and brutal fashion in their rematch at UFC 155 last December.
The manner in which Velasquez reclaimed the heavyweight strap cast a shadow of doubt as to whether or not dos Santos truly had the answer to the puzzle the 31-year-old presents inside the Octagon. And it was a similar feel when "Cigano" scored the knockout victory in their first meeting, as many of the same questions hovered around Velasquez's ability to return to the prime form he competed at prior to a series of injuries.
When it was his time to step up and answer the challenge, Velasquez did so definitively. But now, with dos Santos the one facing the moment to answer, it will be on the former champion to show and prove. While the brick-handed slugger is hungry to reclaim the heavyweight title, it's not a position the current champion is willing to give up.
The San Jose native is just as eager to prove the legitimacy of his title reign and that the flash knockout suffered at the hands of dos Santos in Los Angeles was a fluke.
To ensure he competes to the best of his abilities, Velasquez turned to his camp at the American Kickboxing Academy to get him ready to face dos Santos for the third time. Heading up the preparation was longtime coach and trainer Javier Mendez, and he believes his fighter is "beyond" ready to put a definitive stamp on the greatest trilogy in UFC history.