UFC 131: Why Is Junior Dos Santos the Betting Favorite over Cain Velasquez?

Todd SeylerContributor IJune 13, 2011

A heavyweight matchup for the ages: Cain Velasquez vs JDS
A heavyweight matchup for the ages: Cain Velasquez vs JDS

The main event of UFC 131 between Junior "Cigano" dos Santos and Shane "The Engineer" Carwin stood up to the hype.

During 15 minutes of the seemingly one-sided beat-down delivered by JDS on Carwin, there were numerous highlights.

First, Carwin has an iron jaw and is capable of enduring a hellacious beating.

With the will of a champion, "The Engineer" continued to press forward against JDS, even though his strikes were off point and his takedown attempts failed to secure any control.

Secondly, the main event highlighted the fact that Dos Santos is clearly the No. 1 contender for the UFC heavyweight championship. As Joe Rogan eloquently states, JDS "is a bad man."

There is no denying this light-hearted moniker for the Brazilian, Dos Santos is an extremely talented mixed martial artist with explosively fast hands and a potentially unmatched boxing prowess within the division.

The thorough annihilation of Carwin by Dos Santos has provided "Cigano" with a slight betting edge over current UFC heavyweight champion, Cain Velasquez.

It is rare for Las Vegas to side with the contender, especially when, on paper, both Velasquez and Dos Santos are almost evenly matched.

Comparing each heavyweights body of work inside the Octagon, JDS is 7-0 with four stoppages by (T)KO. Similarly, Velasquez is 7-0 with six victories by (T)KO.

Clearly, both fighters possess knockout power and the ability to dominate their opponents.

Is there a disparity between the level of competition that would provide Dos Santos with the edge in the eyes of bookies?

"Cigano" has defeated the likes of Fabricio Werdum, Stefan Struve, Mirko Cro Cop, Gabriel Gonzaga and most recently, Shane Carwin. An elite stable of high-caliber of fighters have suffered defeat at the hands of the hard-hitting Brazilian.

Defeating a potentially lower level of competition as compared to JDS, Velasquez has secured victories over Cheick Kongo, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and in his last fight, Brock Lesnar, to win the heavyweight strap.

Viewing their fighting resumes, Dos Santos has seemingly defeated tougher competition. With that said, Velasquez has little control over who he fights. And, as a champion should, has defeated each and every opponent the UFC has placed in front of him.

With each fighters body of work eerily similar, is the fact that Cain Velasquez is recovering from shoulder surgery the rationale behind his underdog status?

Surgeries performed on today's elite athletes are technologically advanced. Whereas athletes would typically need over one year to rehabilitate from an ACL tear, because of modern medicine, those athletes are performing in a little over eight months.

Additionally, baseball players who require Tommy John surgery come back throwing harder than prior to being placed under the knife.

Would I expect Cain Velasquez to suffer any long-term effects from his shoulder surgery? Personally, no. He is provided the best surgeons and will endure the highest level of physical therapy to guarantee that his shoulder can compensate for the demands of being an ultimate fighter.

Therefore, both fighters possess an impressive Octagon resume. Both fighters are tremendously gifted on their feet and can finish a fight with one punch. And both fighters will enter the cage on October 8 at UFC 136 completely healed and fully prepared for a heavyweight showdown for the championship.

These facts are indisputable. So why is Junior dos Santos the betting favorite over Cain Velasquez?

I honestly do not have a sound rationale as to why Vegas is favoring the challenger.

Without an answer, I ask you the knowledgeable Bleacher Report readers to justify why Junior dos Santos is supposed to beat Cain Velasquez and proudly adorn the UFC heavyweight championship.

Please provide me with your rationale so that I may have some clarity on this decision by the bookies.

Thank you,

Todd Seyler

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