Junior dos Santos lost his world Heavyweight championship of the world to Cain Velasquez at UFC 155 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 29, 2012; however, "Cigano" may have won over more than a few new mixed martial arts (MMA) fans with his "granite chin, resilience and an amazing ability to keep battling."
The video message that he taped prior to his departure from "Sin City" might add a few more to his growing fan club.
Dos Santos, who quipped that his power-punching paws sustained no damage this time around, but his face "got a little swallow" (see a punch-face photos gallery here) thanks to the five-round beatdown, remained honorable in defeat. He once again congratulated Velasquez, praised his performance and vowed to head back to the drawing board to return "stronger than ever."
"I'd like to thank all my fans who were rooting for me at this fight against Cain Velasquez. All the time my hands get hurt during the fight, but this time I go my face hurt. My hands are feeling 100 percent, but my face got a little [swollen this time], you know? It's for sure because I lost. I think Cain Velasquez did an excellent job, so congratulations to him -- he followed a good strategy. Now I'm going to go back home, fix everything and put everything in the right place. And I'm going to come back stronger than ever."
To watch video highlights of the UFC 155 main event between Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos click here.
It's too early to predict when dos Santos will return to the Octagon and a potential next opponent. At a minimum, he'll have to ride the pine for 45 days for what the Nevada State Athletic Commissions (NSAC) described as "precautionary reasons."
Got any bright ideas?