On Oct. 19, 2013, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez reminded Junior dos Santos just what kind of punishment he's capable of dishing out, pounding the Brazilian striker for 23 minutes at UFC 166 in Houston, Texas.
It was a one-sided beating that looked similar to the one "Brown" handed "Cigano" 10 months prior at UFC 155 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Though the "H-Town" brawl was eventually stopped in the fifth and final round -- only after "Cigano's" head slammed into the canvas -- many in the mixed martial arts (MMA) world, including UFC president Dana White and Chael Sonnen, felt the fight should have been stopped earlier to prevent the former 265-pound kingpin from taking unnecessary damage.
And after hearing this, they may have had a point.
Nevertheless, dos Santos is sticking with his corner team, agreeing with its decision to let the action go as long as possible because had the towel been tossed in to surrender, it would have made him very sad.
He broke it down during his recent conversation with Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting:
"I don't think the fight should have been stopped earlier because Cain and I were both looking for the victory and defending ourselves at the same time to avoid the fight being stopped. And you can see that because the fight was over when I went for a submission and hit my head on the mat. I was dizzy and couldn't defend myself, and then (the referee) stopped the fight. All my corners know me and know how I react in every situation, and I'm sure they never thought about it. I believed in the victory all the time. They also believe that. I'm not against throwing in the towel, but I also know my limitations and I would never expose myself to a situation I can't handle. I would be really sad if they have taken that away from me by throwing in the towel, but I'm positive that with my team it would never happen."
Despite suffering two lopsided championship losses at the hands of Velasquez, dos Santos still has his eyes set on the belt and doesn't care who he has to face on his way to earning another shot at the gold.
"You never know how the division will be in the future. My goal was, and still is, to become the No. 1 again. I will do my best to make that happen as soon as possible. I'm taking a time off to relax and take care of my life. I love to be who I am and do what I do, and I'm sure I'll be back to show my work really soon. I don't pick opponents, and I will fight whoever the UFC wants."
With the win, Velasquez proved without a shadow of a doubt he truly is the best big man in the sport today. In the process, he also sent "Cigano" all the way to the back of the pack, knocking him out of the title picture for the foreseeable future, much like he did to his fellow countrymen, Antonio Silva, by also dominating him on two separate occasions.
Though the two wins over "Bigfoot" were much faster, they weren't necessarily less brutal (see the proof here).
As dos Santos begins his long road back to the pinnacle of the 265-pound division -- and tries to regain the years he lost fighting Velasquez -- Cain will defend his title against submission specialist Fabricio Werdum, but will have to wait and see if his injured shoulder will sideline him for an extended period of time before he can step back into the cage.
How about it Manics, Velasquez already has his next opponent set, so who should "Cigano" face once he's ready to step back into Octagon?