Cain Velasquez lost his UFC heavyweight belt in just 64 seconds to Junior Dos Santos last November, and then he waited 13 long months for the chance to get it back.
When Velasquez squared off in a rematch with Dos Santos at UFC 155, he made sure the belt returned to its rightful owner. The 30-year-old dominated Dos Santos the entire match.
He out-struck, out-landed and battered the Brazilian throughout the fight en route to a unanimous decision.
It was an entertaining bout and an outstanding result for the UFC.
Velasquez is one of the company's most popular fighters. He's a proud and outspoken champion who appeals to the Latin base that fuels the success of the UFC.
His fight drew a live gate of $3.286 million, eclipsing the total of Brock Lesnar’s (one of the more popular fighters in UFC history) farewell loss to Alistair Overeem a year ago.
The fight card was a huge sign of progress for UFC.
It’s a sport that in just the last year has made itself a fixture on Fox and has pulled in huge audiences, despite a large amount of injuries and cancellations.
The sport is moving forward at a rapid pace under the leadership of Dana White.
In March, welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre will defend his title against the character that is Nick Diaz.
That fight card will be quickly followed in April by a lineup that is highlighted by light heavyweight champion Jon Jones taking on Chael Sonnen. The popular show The Ultimate Fighter will also return.
Anderson Silva's belt will likely be on the line later in the year, as will Velasquez's.
If those fights weren't enough, White is looking to celebrate the UFC's 20th anniversary with a bang.
Saturday night, White let on that there is a chance the UFC will make it's debut at Madison Square Garden in November.
If that happens, 2013 will surely be a spectacular year for the UFC.
And it all kicked off with Velasquez's victory.