Photo by Esther Lin for MMAFighting.com
The underdog prevailed in the UFC 155 main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as Cain Velasquez ripped the UFC heavyweight championship from the waist of Junior dos Santos to become the division's second-ever two-time king. On the heels of a dominant victory, let's take a moment to reflect on the true beauty of Velasquez's victory.
Cain Velasquez redeemed his only career defeat with a complete obliteration of Junior dos Santos in the main event of UFC 155. Velasquez regained the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight belt he lost to dos Santos 13-months ago at UFC on FOX 1, and in the process proved his 64-second loss to the Brazilian was a mere bump in the road.
To the surprise of many, Velasquez was superior to dos Santos in virtually every area over the course of their five-round affair, which Velasquez won by unanimous decision via judge's scores of 50-45, 50-43 and 50-44. The fight was extremely competitive for the first few minutes of the opening round, with dos Santos stuffing multiple takedown attempts and working the striking combinations that brought him to the championship.
The turning point of the fight came at the midway point of round one when Velasquez fearlessly charged at dos Santos and landed a massive right hand that dropped "Cigano." Velasquez attacked with all his might but could not finish.
By surviving the onslaught, dos Santos proved he has an incredible heart, but unfortunately that was just the beginning of a beating that lasted for over 20 more minutes. From the moment he dropped dos Santos until the final bell, Velasquez dominated every aspect of the fight from striking to grappling to clinch work. And at one point in the third round the 30-year-old nearly secured an armbar.
The biggest takeaway from Velasquez's victory is simply how dominant he was. Coming into the fight dos Santos had only been taken down three times in the UFC, spending a total of 13-seconds on his back in the UFC. Velasquez kept dos Santos on his back for a number minutes, a spectacular feat in of itself.
Take nothing away from dos Santos - he showed heart and determination, but it simply was not his night. To say he won't share the cage with Velasquez again in the future would be an ignorant statement, and you can bet your bottom dollar that -just like Velasquez-dos Santos is only going to get better after his first UFC defeat.
A majority of the mixed martial arts (MMA) community, this writer included, predicted dos Santos to retain the title in a repeat of the first bout, and Velasquez defied all his doubters with the resounding victory.
A loss for Velasquez at UFC 155 would have been devastating for his career, as two losses to the champion for a fighter in any weight class essentially puts them in purgatory until that titleholder is dethroned. The victory for the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product rejuvenates not only his career, but the division as well. Moreover, Velasquez now joins UFC Hall-of-Famer Randy Couture as only one of two men to hold the UFC heavyweight championship on two separate occasions.
After getting the belt back around his waist, there are a slew of potential fights on the horizon for Velasquez. For now, though, he deserves to reap the benefits of a well-deserved victory.
In closing, the main event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas was a memorable one and whenever dos Santos and Velasquez inevitably have their trilogy bout, you can guarantee it's going to be another incredible battle.