UFC 166: "Velasquez vs. dos Santos 3," which took place at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, was nothing short of spectacular, providing fans with a night of legendary fights and mixed martial arts (MMA) action. Both the pay-per-view card and the "Prelims" on Fox Sports 1 / Facebook were outstanding, with every single fight being amazing with the exception of one, depending who you ask.
Check out full UFC 166 results and live play-by-play coverage right here.
Cain Velasquez was able to stop Junior dos Santos in the fifth round of their rubber match for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight title, becoming the most dangerous man on the planet and inserting his name in the record books (watch highlights here).
Daniel Cormier was able to get another win inside the Octagon against the durable Roy Nelson, by using takedowns and his improved striking (watch the highlights here). It was not the worst fight of the year; however, in comparison to the other fights on the main card, it was easily the least popular.
The greatest fight of the year to date -- and possibly the early decade -- goes to Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez, who stood toe-to-toe for three rounds and beat the living crap out of each other, winning the "Fight of the Night" bonus. Apart from some interesting grappling exchanges that did not last very long, Melendez and Sanchez engaged in a slugfest that will be remembered as the best Lightweight fight in the UFC, with "El Nino" coming out on top (watch the highlights here).
Before all the action unfolded inside the Octagon, there were promotional appearances to generate awareness for -- and interest in -- a trip back to Houston. Fighters said this and that, answering questions galore when all they really wanted to do is be left alone and not be bothered.
MMAmania.com does a pretty good job of passing along all the noteworthy pre- and post-fight comments for each event. But, as we've done before, let us look at the words that left the fighters' mouths before they stepped into the cage on Saturday night.
"If it offends them so much, what is it going to do with the guy with the actual beard? So then I started trying to go after his beard. But it's truly not that big of a deal. I don't really care all that much, but why not mess with him if I can?"
-- Cormier may have gotten inside Roy Nelson's head, winning the psychological battle before he won the actual battle. Cormier had a request turned down from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to see if Nelson could possibly shave his beard or groom it differently -- though it did not matter at all. Cormier did not let the beard get in the way of his punches, and it really was not a problem for him at all...unless it simply grossed him out or something.
"The story will be told in this fight where I belong in this division. I'm going to come into the fight prepared to strike and I'm going to be ready to stand and bang, and fight with all my heart and soul."
-- Who does not love Diego Sanchez? If he does not bring a tear to your eye in the most complex of emotional ways, you have no heart. Clearly, Sanchez has all the heart in the world and despite losing, he backed up his words by slugging it out with former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez. Where he belongs in this division is actually interesting -- he may not have a title fight lined up although he is a tough fight for anyone at 155 pounds and proved to be a mainstay.
"I'm one impressive performance away from maybe getting that title shot. I see some holes in his standup game. By any means I don't think he's a weak standup guy. I just think his strength is wrestling, grappling, and third, comes striking. It's definitely not an easy task -- Diego is a guy who may be losing and comes out strong in the end."
-- Melendez was also eerily accurate with his statements, as he could have done enough for the next Lightweight title shot with a win over Sanchez. He did exploit the holes in his opponent's striking, getting the better out of the exchanges and was right about "The Dream" not giving up until the final horn sounded. Melendez was not only confident with his pre-fight talk ... he backed it up and was right about everything.
"I just want people that when they think back of me, they think about the way I fought -- my fighting style. It was never boring, it was always going forward, lot of pressure, lot of action. The type of Mexican fighter that you see in boxing -- tough as nails and going forward. That's what I want to be remembered as."
-- Velasquez will definitely be remembered for this trilogy and the fact that he is the most complete heavyweight fighter that has ever existed in the sport of MMA. He does have plenty of good fights left in him and there is still time to do more work in the UFC yet as of now, he will already be remembered in the way that he just explained above.
"I had no cuts against Cain Velasquez. And he hits like a girl. He hit me a lot during the five rounds, but did not open any cuts. Although I was very bloated and had to go to the hospital."
-- To quote Velasquez's coach, Javier Mendez, "that girl dropped him." And not only did he do that again, but this time he finished him. Dos Santos probably visited the hospital for the second time against Velasquez last night and, with all due respect, he showed a great ton of heart. He did have plenty of cuts on his face this time, bleeding everywhere and had his left eye practically swollen shut. In all of our "He Said What?!" quotes, this one hurts the most when we look back at a fighter who could not live up to the words he uttered. If Velasquez hits like a girl, dos Santos got his clock cleaned by her.
For our complete UFC 166: "Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3" story stream click here.