Cain vs. JDS 3: What's at Stake, Predictions Before Anticipated Showdown

Ryan DavenportContributor IJanuary 30, 2017

Dec 29, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Junior Dos Santos (left) and Cain Velasquez (right) exchange strikes during UFC 155 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, Houston will play host to one of the most compelling UFC events in the sport's history, as Cain Velasquez gets set to defend his heavyweight title against Junior dos Santos. 

The bout has all the makings to be one for the ages, and given that the pair have split the first two chapters of the wildly entertaining trilogy of fights, you won't want to miss a second of UFC 166

Back in November of 2011, JDS handed Cain the first loss of his career, but a year later, Velasquez returned the favor by taking a unanimous decision at UFC 155. 

Heading into the highly anticipated tilt at the Toyota Center, here's a look at all the latest buzz surrounding the title fight. 


What's at Stake

For both fighters, this showdown appears to be the most important fight of their decorated careers, as this will be the deciding bout between UFC's two most dominant current figures. 

Velasquez, who enters the fight at 12-1, will be looking to prove that his initial loss to dos Santos was a fluke, as his masterful performance a year later seemed to suggest. 

That being said, dos Santos is certainly capable of giving the 31-year-old a run for his money, as his Round 1 knockout proved during their first meeting. 

Dec 29, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cain Velasquez during UFC 155 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

But for JDS, this is an opportunity to demonstrate that the rotator cuff injury Velasquez suffered just days before their first fight was not the reason he stole the title from Cain two years back. 

For the Brazilian, the biggest obstacle he'll have to overcome is Cain's decided advantage in terms of cardiovascular fitness, which was clearly evident during their last matchup. 



As far as in-house predictions go, the staff here all have Velasquez retaining his title in dominant fashion, with four of the five experts calling for a unanimous decision

But over at Bloody Elbow, opinions on which fighter will emerge victorious are much more split heading into the bout. Six experts have Cain taking the third installment of the rivalry, but the other five have 29-year-old JDS landing the upset, with three predicting it to come via knockout. 

This projects to be the most entertaining fight of the year, and with the series split at one victory apiece, you won't want to miss UFC 166.