USA TODAY Sports
What went wrong for Junior dos Santos in his rematch against Cain Velasquez at UFC 155? It was the threat of the takedown from one of the best wrestling big men of the sport that threw "Cigano's" fight strategy out of whack according to the former UFC heavyweight champion.
Cain Velasquez received his much-desired rematch against Junior dos Santos after one win, a first round annihilation of Antonio Silva at UFC 146 on Memorial Day Weekend, and made the most of it by dominating "Cigano" at UFC 155 this past weekend (Dec. 29, 2012) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In what was a complete 180 of their initial encounter at UFC on FOX 1 back in 2011, the heavyweight tilt lasted longer than the 64 seconds it took Junior to snag the belt away from Velasquez. This time around, the Mexican-American beat the heavy-handed Dos Santos from pillar to post from the opening bell for five rounds, leaving his foe battered, bruised and beltless.
To the surprise of many, Cain even outclassed Junior on the feet, the man many consider to be the best striker in all of mixed martial arts (MMA).
So, what went wrong?
Junior tells SporTV it was the threat of Cain's outstanding wrestling skills that had him worried and forced him to use the "wrong strategy."
"It (he) was better and deserved to win, but I used the wrong strategy. I was very worried about his entry in my legs and left face unprotected. So he hit me. When I was on the floor, I should have used more jiu-jitsu, I trained so much. But I tried to (get) back up, and it hurt me too, but on the ground it (he) is very good, very strong. I did not connect any punches good, even. It was bad because I was feeling very well, did a great training camp, everything was just right. But the fight is (over) anyway."
Indeed a determined Cain implemented his wrestling abilities to his advantage, taking Dos Santos down repeatedly after a few failed attempts early on. The threat of the takedown also allowed him to set up his strikes perfectly due to the fact that the Brazilian's hands were constantly down by his waist.
As far as a rematch, "Cigano" says he wants one sooner rather than later:
"I want now, soon. I won the first and he had a rematch. Now I lost and I want my rematch. I'm saying I want this fight. I'll get my belt."
Despite "Cigano's" plea for an instant rematch, he will probably have to win at least one or two more fights convincingly before he gets another crack at Cain. Furthermore, Alistair Overeem is the current front-runner to get first shot at Velasquez, should he get past "Bigfoot" at UFC 156 on Feb. 2, 2013.
Nevertheless, a trilogy fight between Velasquez and Dos Santos is likely to happen down the road, much to the pleasure of fights fans around the globe.
Whether or not it's for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight title, remains to be seen.