UFC 136

UFC 131 Results:Early Head-to-Toe Breakdown Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez

John HeinisSenior Analyst IJune 12, 2011

UFC 131 Results:Early Head-to-Toe Breakdown Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez

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    After absolutely embarrassing Shane Carwin in his heavyweight title eliminator bout at UFC 131, Junior Dos Santos is ready for a title shot against Cain Velasquez in the fall.

    Fans are already looking forward to this showdown between two heavyweight juggernauts in the UFC, given the impressive skill set each man brings to the table.

    Velasquez, known for being one of the most well-rounded heavyweights in the sport today, may have his hands full with one of MMA’s best pure boxers in Junior dos Santos.

    Dos Santos also showed off a previously unseen wrestling game against Carwin, showing that he should not be regarded as a one-dimensional fighter.

    This is undoubtedly an intriguing title fight, with the biggest question being who comes in with the advantage?

Striking

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    Both fighters have a very impressive boxing acumen for guys who weigh in around 240 pounds, since both Velasquez and dos Santos possess tremendous, speed, power, and footwork.

    Velasquez has only seen one fight go to the scorecards in nine professional fights, with eight wins coming via knockout.

    Dos Santos also has eight wins via knockout, and has finished his opponent in 11 of 13 career victories.

    Picking who has the advantage here is quite a challenge.

    However, given the fact that Velasquez was losing in the standup battle against Cheick Kongo, and JDS has traded blows and won with the likes of Shane Carwin and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, he has the slight advantage.

    Advantage: dos Santos

Wrestling

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    Velasquez is one of several current UFC champions coming from an impressive wrestling background.

    Cain’s college wrestling record with the Arizona Sun Devils was 86-17, placing fifth and fourth in the nationals in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

    Due to his excellent knockout power, Velasquez’s wrestling in the Octagon has been rarely seen.

    However, when he met a great kickboxer in Cheick Kongo, Velasquez had no problem putting on a wrestling clinic.

    Dos Santos’ only weakness was thought to be his wrestling game, but that theory was proved wrong against Shane Carwin.

    Carwin, a member of the NCAA Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame, struggled to get JDS to the mat and was not able to capitalize once he did.

    Meanwhile, Cigano managed to score two takedowns of his own in the third round.

    Velasquez deserves the advantage here, but Dos Santos’ new found wrestling skills should not be underestimated.

    Advantage: Velasquez

Jiu Jitsu

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    Velasquez has a purple belt under the highly touted Dave Camarillo, while dos Santos has a brown belt from the well-respected Nogueira brothers.

    However, neither competitor has seen their fights hit the ground for extended periods of time.

    JDS has one legitimate submission victory, while Velasquez is yet to make an opponent tap. 

    Due to neither fighter’s jiu jitsu skills being prominently on display yet at this point in their careers, it is almost impossible to pick who has the upper hand.

     

    Advantage: Even

Cardio

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    Neither big man is used to going the distance, seeing only three fights in their promising careers go for a full three rounds.

    Nevertheless, Velasquez looked ready for another three rounds after going 15 minutes with Cheick Kongo, and JDS looked like he was barely breaking a sweat in his three-round-affair with Shane Carwin.

    Both guys are clearly capable of going 25 hard minutes when it is necessary….however, with fighters as skilled as Velasquez and dos Santos, it will very rarely be necessary.

     

    Advantage: Even

Prediction

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    Expect both bruising heavyweights to throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at their opponent.

    Velasquez and dos Santos are recognized as two guys with unbelievable heart and determination, and this fight will prove no differently.

    Cigano will hurt Velasquez more than ever before with his precise and powerful boxing, while Velasquez will make JDS uncomfortable with a variety of top control and ground and pound he has never seen before.

    In the end, JDS will prove that he was rightfully the betting favorite heading into this one, winning by an incredibly close split decision that likely leads to an immediate rematch.

    Winner: Junior dos Santos by split decision  

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