After splitting the first two bouts, Velasquez broke the stalemate with a convincing win over his foe on Saturday night. He won via TKO during the fifth round after thoroughly controlling the fight throughout its course.
According to UFC.com, he converted 274 strikes in 378 attempts, for an efficient success rate of 73 percent. Dos Santos hit on just 44 percent of his opportunities, landing 62 out of 140 strikes. Velasquez also secured two takedowns, eliminating any doubt over which heavyweight is the superior competitor.
For the second straight time, his aggressive style proved too much for Dos Santos to handle. But Dos Santos offered a better description of the evening, per ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto.
"He's very—what can I say? He beat me up."
Yes, he did.
Now that the champion has upped the head-to-head scorecard to 2-1, it seems like an appropriate time for each fighter to move on to different challengers.
Bad things happen when stories are dragged on for too long. Ask any Star Wars fans for their thoughts on the prequels. Try to see if anyone acknowledges The Godfather 3's existence.
Instead, these fighters should take a page from Christopher Nolan, who ended his Batman films after the third installment. He could have made 10 more of them if he so desired, and many more new iterations will probably spawn during the next decade.
But he ended the series on his terms, defying the odds with a poignant ending to the trilogy, whereas most movies would have stumbled. We can now look back on those films fondly without remembering a weird fourth one where Dane Cook plays The Joker and ruins everything.
As for Velasquez, he has nothing more to prove after getting his hand raised twice. While Dos Santos offers fierce competition, it will appear as if the champion is playing it safe against an opponent he knows he can defeat.
While Dos Santos may relish the chance to even the series at two apiece, he can't afford to take another beating. "Cigano" must return to the win column as soon as he can, and Velasquez is rolling too much to let that happen against his adversary.
The two rivals have had a great run, but it's time to move on. An entire field of fighters with different styles and sizes offers new ring partners for both men. They can stand to freshen things up to avoid turning this exciting rivalry into just another stale showdown.