“I wanna finish this fight,” said Junior dos Santos when asked about his fight with Cain Velasquez in an interview with MMAweekly.com. He continued to say, “I don’t wanna fight five rounds against him.”
Is dos Santos’ striking the ticket to fending off Velasquez’s ground game? Probably not...but that doesn’t necessarily mean that dos Santos is going to lose.
Velasquez’s best shot at winning this fight is going to be bringing dos Santos to the ground and unleashing some ruthless ground-and-pound. Not to say he’d lose if he stood with dos Santos, but it’d be foolish to not use every advantage he has.
Dos Santos is no stranger to fighting opponents with great ground games, however. In his UFC debut, dos Santos squared off against Febricio Werdum, who would later defeat Fedor Emelianenko by arm bar.
At 1:21 of the first round, dos Santos landed a vicious uppercut that put Werdum out. Dos Santos used those same uppercuts to help he defend takedowns when he squared off against Roy Nelson.
We know dos Santos can use his striking to fend off the takedown, but he has yet to face someone with the wrestling pedigree Velasquez has.
Dos Santos’ striking won’t keep Velasquez from taking him down forever. Once on the ground however, dos Santos does have a brown belt in BJJ from the Nogueira clan.
We haven’t had too much of a chance to see his ground game in the UFC because of his strong stand-up, but dos Santos might just surprise us all while working from his guard.
Even if this fight does go to the ground, which it may not, it’s sure to be one of the best bouts of the year when these two strikers face off.