By: Jade Sanchez / AP Photo
Strongly compelled by his desire to reign supreme once again, challenger Cain Velasquez entered the cage with one thing in mind – to regain the belt that he believed was rightfully his and with his incredible conditioning and carefully orchestrated game plan, he successfully re-captured the crown.
The shouts of support from the adoring fans inside the magnificent MGM Grand Garden Arena even pumped him up more as he wasted no time to push the pace and bring the fight to the champion from start to finish. Cain Velasquez showcased his wrestling skills by mixing his punches with take downs and clinches while keeping up an insane pacing to wear down the champion.
As a fighter who got a first taste of defeat against JDS, whom, he was about to fight again, you would think that Velasquez must have learned his lesson and would not stay in the pocket and instead avoid the power of Dos Santos by constantly moving away and shoot for take downs. Not Cain Velasquez. This rematch proved that without injuries and with tremendous training, Cain Velasquez is not afraid to trade punches even with a powerful puncher like Junior Dos Santos.
Fightmatric revealed that the new champion out boxed the Brazlilian MMA superstar by landing 210 of his punches against Dos Santos’ 66. The moment Velasquez hit the ignition switch, the savage onslaught commenced in front of the 12,423 fans that came to witness an action-packed and explosive championship bout. When the smoke cleared, the judges scored the bout 50-45, 50-43, 50-44 for the challenger. The new champion didn’t just take the bull by the horns; he bullied the bull and showed no sign of respect to his punching power.
The win improved Velasquez’ record to 11 - 1 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw) while Dos Santos dropped to 15 - 2 - 0 (Win - Loss – Draw).
The way Velasquez pushed the pace was already astounding but to see him being able to maintain the tempo for 25 minutes, the new champion has a long way to go. So when he was asked during the post-fight press conference on how winded was he going in the finishing rounds, “in the training camp I felt the same way because it was that hard” the new UFC heavyweight champion responded.
Now that the king regained his crown and after he fought mightily to achieve greatness, who among the heavyweight fighters has the skills set to dethrone Cain Velasquez? 2013 has the answer.
Velasquez started with a double jab and right straight before going for a single leg take down. Dos Santos was ready and shook Velasquez off. Determined, Velasquez wrestled him to the ground but Dos Santos proved to be a tough nut to crack as he almost reversed the position. After that sprawl, both fighters were on their feet and the crowd went bananas. Velasquez kept moving forward mixing his attack while Dos Santos dropped some heavy punches but the challenger was not deterred.With 1:24 remaining in the first round, Cain Velasquez connected a devastating overhand right that sent the champion to the mat. That punch was a reminiscent of the punch that knocked Velasquez down when they fought for the first time. Smelling blood, Velasquez unleashed hell to finish off the champion. Dos Santos struggled to survive and to get back on his feet but the challenger was unforgiving hitting him with vicious strikes. Herb Dean looked closely as the champion absorbed a frightful amount of punishment. The round ended with Dos Santos barely able to locate his corner.
The challenger wasted no time and closed the distance once again. The single leg take down took the fight to the ground and the challenger muffled the champion with hammer fists and strikes from different angles. Dos Santos survived and was backing away when Velasquez attacked once again like a predator stalking a wounded prey. End of the round, Dos Santos’ face showed evidence of the grand bombardment.
Desperate to hit the lottery ticket, Dos Santos unleashed some haymakers but the challenger was persistent with his attacks and shot for another take down. The champion was gasping for air, obviously not ready for the kind of pace that Velasquez was putting in, and Velasquez kept dropping punches after punches. When the bell rang, Dos Santos walked towards his corner with a busted-up face.
Championship round and Velasquez was comfortable in the driving seat. The challenger mixed up his attack once again that baffled the champion even more. Dos Santos threw some powerful punches but they didn’t seem to weaken the challenger who stayed in the pocket taking in some of those shots. Velasquez was in his face wherever the fight took place – to the ground or up against the cage.
Dos Santos’ corner pushed him to initiate the attack as he was way behind the score cards. The champion was beaten up but he wasn’t ready to fall by the wayside. The challenger had another plan. He wasn’t going to give Dos Santos the chance to land a haymaker. As the round started, Velasquez immediately closed the distance and shot for take downs. Coming out looking for a home run, the champion showed extreme courage by timing his knockout punches even if there wasn’t enough gas in his tank to pull ahead. The challenger worked his clinch and finished the round pinning the champion against the cage.
Follow Jade on Twitter @jdsanz.
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