According to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White, Junior dos Santos' corner should have thrown in the towel in the third round of "Cigano's" heavyweight championship fight against division kingpin Cain Velasquez at UFC 166 back on Oct. 19, 2013 to save the Brazilian from further punishment.
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But that thought never even crossed the mind of Junior's jiu-jitsu coach, Yuri Carlton, or any of the rest of his trainers, for that matter.
Because despite being pretty much out of the fight early on -- which went down at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas -- Team Dos Santos always kept hope alive for a Hail Mary punch or submission that would end the bout in the blink of an eye; something "Cigano" is capable of doing.
Carlton explained his team's decision to not stop the fight to MMA Fighting:
"To be honest, I never considered throwing in the towel. If something like that ever happens, Luiz Carlos Dorea (boxing coach) would be the one to decide. I was hoping for the knockout all the time. In the fifth round, 'Cigano' went for that choke. Anything can happen. We see a guy lose the whole fight and then win in the last round. It happens all the time. We're not impressed by blood or anything like that, neither is ‘Cigano.' He always fights for the win, no matter what. He always tries that submission in the gym, and he submits a lot of sparring partners here with it. He went for it automatically. Cain Velasquez rolled to defend and ‘Cigano' fell with his face on the ground and couldn't fight anymore. But even if he didn't hit his head on the ground he wouldn't win anyway, it wouldn't change the fight. He was already beat. We hoped he could land a good punch even if he was completely tired, but it didn't happen."
Indeed, Dos Santos did attempt a last minute guillotine on Cain in the fifth and final round; however, Velasquez slipped out of the submission attempt which eventually sent Junior crashing to the canvas head first, essentially knocking him out.
According to Yuri, the fact that "JDS" went into "autopilot" after round two is a pretty normal occurrence for some fighters. Furthermore, the jiu-jitsu coach revealed that his pupil never told him he thought he lost in round two as originally reported.
Is having no recollection of most of the fight normal, too?
Nevertheless, Cain went on to win the fight after delivering 23 minutes of non-stop punishment to the Brazilian bomber to retain his 265-pound strap.
For the record, during his interview on "The MMA Hour," Javier Mendez -- Cain's trainer -- said he would "be torn" to throw in the towel if the roles were reversed and would also want to give his fighter every chance to win the fight, as well.
Indeed, it's a very fine line between having faith in your fighter and protecting him from unnecessary punishment.