UFC on FOX 1 has just passed us by, and it was an excellent night of fights.
Capping the evening was a heavyweight title fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos.
Velasquez entered the cage as champion, but failed to retain his belt, lasting barely more than a minute against the vicious dos Santos.
Dos Santos is known as one of the most dangerous strikers in all of MMA, and tonight he reminded the world why by knocking Velasquez out in under a minute.
While this is assuredly a disappointing loss for the former champ, Velasquez is known as an extremely hard worker, and there is no doubting that he could make another run for the title.
Of course, if he's going to get the title back, Velasquez is going to need to make some adjustments.
Use his cardio to his advantage
Velasquez is well-known for having excellent cardio—especially for a heavyweight—but he failed to use that to his advantage tonight.
He was too conservative, and that allowed dos Santos to set up his strikes.
Velasquez should have come out and put the pressure on dos Santos right away, kept him moving backwards and used his wrestling to tire the challenger out.
Fighters like Clay Guida and Frankie Edgar are often able to tire their opponents out by employing a relentless pace, and that's something Velasquez should work on.
Go back to his bread and butter
Velasquez is a wrestler first and a striker second.
In his last two fights before dos Santos, Velasquez was able to win by using his striking, and it seems like those wins made him forget what his real strength is.
Not to say that Velasquez is a bad striker—he's great—he's just not on the same level as elite strikers like dos Santos and Cheick Kongo.
When Velasquez came out against dos Santos, he should have been desperate to get the takedown. Instead, he seemed content to stand and bang.
That decision cost him—big time.
Improve his head movement
Velasquez has a big old head, and he needs to make it harder for people to hit it.
The former champ is an excellent offensive striker, but as we saw tonight and in his fight with Cheick Kongo, his defensive striking could use some work.
It would have been nice to see Velasquez bobbing and weaving more against dos Santos.
With some improved head movement, Velasquez might still be champion right now.
Work on his game-planning
In the past, Velasquez always had a great game plan.
He kept the fight standing against a wrestler in Brock Lesnar.
He avoided Kongo's striking by taking the fight to the ground.
He avoided Nogueira's jiu-jitsu by keeping the fight on the feet.
Tonight, however, Velasquez tried to test his strikes against arguably the best pure boxer in MMA.
Not the best strategy.
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