"Speed kills." Ask anyone in the sports of boxing who will win between a fighter who has fast hands and someone who possesses power but lacks speed, and you will often get the former as the answer.
If this will apply in the upcoming title-eliminator match between former title contender Shane Carwin and upcoming superstar Junior dos Santos, then it is much likely that the Brazilian will take the victory, as he is known to be the faster fighter.
Just take a look at "Cigano's" last six fights in the UFC, and you'll find out how he managed to win by out-striking notable stand-up fighters known for their power: Fabricio Werdum, Stefan Struve, Mirco Flipovic, Gilbert Yvel, Gabriel Gonzaga and Roy Nelson—all of which ended with a finish except for the last one.
In dos Santos' fight with Nelson at UFC 117, he managed to out-point the former IFL heavyweight champion who is known for his knockout power. Nelson tried to land power shots during the fight but was overwhelmed with the speed that dos Santos possesses.
Even though "Cigano" had not managed to end the fight with a finish, he had still done enough to earn a unanimous decision by turning "the Big Country" into a punching bag.
Meanwhile, Shane Carwin can brag about his own record of knockout wins over four of his last five opponents in the UFC. Nonetheless, none of those fighters possessed the same striking skills as dos Santos, with the only notable ones being Frank Mir and Gabriel Gonzaga—two fighters who are not even classified as "pure strikers."
What will be the key to victory in Carwin's fight against dos Santos?
If Carwin's fight against dos Santos turns out to be a boxing match, as most predict, then Carwin might be in for a long night with dos Santos.
Remember how boxing's pound-for-pound champion Manny Pacquiao defeated his supposed-to-be toughest test in Miguel Cotto? The Pacman used more of his speed than his power to win, making Cotto, who is known for his power-punching, quit due to the number of punches he received.
The strategy of using speed as an advantage is well-supported by Pacquiao's trainer, Freddy Roach.
For instance, in one of his trainee's fight, he was quoted saying, "We took a lot of the muscle out of the upper body and put it in his lower body, into his legs. If you have a guy with speed, it's the best asset in the world, why would you take away from that and try to build him up? There's no sense in that whatsoever. Speed kills," when asked about the camp's strategy in Amir Khan's title fight against Andreas Kotelnik.
In order to win, Carwin should use more of his wrestling to gain control of the fight. He can try to test the water in the stand-up department but must be wise in choosing where the fight goes should he discover that he is in a certain disadvantageous position.
Perhaps Carwin should take a lesson or two from fellow contender Brock Lesnar on using power for wrestling rather than boxing. In my opinion, this is the only way he can gain victory from dos Santos and align himself to get another title shot.