Cain Velasquez seems to be the overwhelming pick to retain his heavyweight title when he faces Junior “Cigano” dos Santos for a third time at UFC 166 on Saturday. Velasquez was knocked out in their first meeting, but he dominated the rematch to win by unanimous decision.
Though the first two results were split, the interviews featured in the video from MMAInterviews.TV strongly suggest Velasquez is the popular choice.
Check it out.
Is it Disrespect for JDS or Respect for Cain?
Despite the fact that Junior dos Santos appears to be the better overall athlete and already owns a win over Velasquez, the images from their second meeting have made the biggest impression. It seems a little disrespectful to dismiss dos Santos so easily, though.
Of the eight fighters who spoke in the video, only Brendan Schaub picked dos Santos to win. Johny Hendricks couldn’t make a decision, but it sounded like he favored Velasquez.
This massively slanted look at the UFC 166 main event has to serve as even more motivation for dos Santos to regain his title.
One factor that should be noted is that all but one of the fighters interviewed in the video above are American. None of them hail from dos Santos’ home country of Brazil. Had a few of the UFC’s many Brazilian warriors been interviewed, there is a good chance dos Santos would have had a few votes of confidence.
While Velasquez’s work ethic and efficiency on the ground were noted in the video, it seems there is a bit of a disconnect to dos Santos’ preparation. Velasquez is undoubtedly a man on a mission, but it is foolish to think dos Santos isn’t just as driven.
Adding to His Arsenal
In this interview with Bleacher Report’s Ultimate Show, dos Santos talks about his training and wanting to regain his title.
"Cigano" mentions the head kick he used to finish the tough Mark Hunt in his last fight. That technique was a new wrinkle in his game. He is the type of fighter who is so good at one aspect of the sport (boxing), it appeared he didn’t really need to add other dimensions.
The rematch with Velasquez proved he needed to give his opponent more to worry about. From the sound of his interview, he is ready to show how much he’s grown since Velasquez last faced him.
This could simply be dismissed as a contrary point of view, but Schaub seems to be right on the money with his prediction. Expect a thunderous punch or kick to spell the end of the night for Velasquez and dos Santos will prove the doubters wrong.
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