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Tag: Cain Velasquez

UFC 166 Aftermath: The Latest Emperor


(Cain Velasquez admires his violence on the big screen. / Photo via Getty)

Suddenly, the rivalry between heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos seems a little less competitive than was hoped for. Many observers were treating this fight as merely the latest engagement in a battle for the heavyweight crown that was to last for years ahead. Less a conclusion to a trilogy and more a precursor to a tetralogy or beyond, it was expected that this fight would see a more competitive affair showcasing the strengths of both men. That didn’t happen. Velasquez absolutely dominated Dos Santos, flooring him in the third before finishing him (sort of) in the fifth. It’s clear now that Cain Velasquez is the unstoppable force. Despite his unquestioned stature as the second best heavyweight in the UFC, Junior Dos Santos is not the immovable object.

Pace and pressure are amorphous terms reliant on context; it’s more difficult to conceive of these finishing a fight than something we can easily discern like a punch or kick. Yet it was the relentless forward motion and unending attack of Velasquez that led to the finish last night and the dominance that preceded it. Dos Santos had his moments; he landed a number of hard shots to open the first round, and landed a nice elbow against the cage to end the second. But other than that, it was all Cain. He didn’t dominate from bell to bell like he did in the second fight, but he wore down Dos Santos over the course of the first two rounds before capitalizing in the third. Velasquez floored Dos Santos with a counter overhand right, and almost finished the fight there; Herb Dean put his hand on Velasquez’ shoulder at one point, but reconsidered.

Things didn’t improve for Dos Santos afterwards, and in the fifth round he went for a desperation front choke. As Cain attempted successfully to escape, Dos Santos rolled, crashing his forehead on the mat. Either disoriented or utterly exhausted, Dos Santos could not continue and Velasquez secured the latest stoppage victory in UFC history. At the undisputed pinnacle of his weight class – the first heavyweight to truly claim this distinction since Fedor Emelianenko – it’s hard to imagine anyone toppling Velasquez soon. Daniel Cormier, who fought earlier in the evening, is his wrestling coach and is moving down to 205. Fabricio Werdum, his presumptive opponent, can submit anyone but will unlikely be able to take the fight to the ground against a wrestler of Cain’s caliber. A future rematch with Dos Santos is not inconceivable, but a different result is at this point. Despite his heart, his chin and his skills, it seems that Dos Santos is not destined to be the foil to Velasquez that we hoped he would be; Velasquez is the heavyweight division’s emperor.

Speaking of Daniel Cormier…

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Congratulations, Cain Velasquez, You’ve Ruined the Heavyweight Division!


(Cain Velasquez may not kick like Anderson Silva, but his dominance over heavyweight will parallel Silva’s period of dominance over middleweight. / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

After the events of UFC 166, the heavyweight division is now the UFC’s least thrilling.

Heavyweight is the new middleweight. That is to say that the heavyweight division under Cain Velasquez‘s brutal, face-rearranging reign will resemble the middleweight division under Anderson Silva during his peak — a boring division where no fighter is a threat to the champ. A division where everybody says, “Meh, who cares about who’s challenging for the heavyweight title? Cain is going to destroy him anyway.”

The only fighter to ever humble Cain Velasquez was Junior Dos Santos. But Dos Santos couldn’t repeat his success. Velasquez wrought terrible vengeance on the Brazilian in the rematch at UFC 155, and then again in the rubber match at UFC 166.

Earlier this year, I predicted that the UFC heavyweight division would become stagnant and dull:

Both men are insanely talented. But that’s the problem — they’re both so talented that the rest of the fighters in the division aren’t a match for them. The only challenge to Velasquez is Dos Santos. The only challenge to Dos Santos is Velasquez.

I was right and wrong.

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UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3 — Main Card Results & Commentary


(It’s a classic battle of “BROWN PRIDE” vs. “KIND OF SELF-CONSCIOUS ABOUT MY RECEDING HAIRLINE” / Photo via CombatLifestyle.com. Check out more UFC 166 weigh-in photos here.)

Appropriately, the UFC’s latest visit to the fattest city in America is loaded with heavyweight talent. In addition to the highly anticipated trilogy match between current champion Cain Velasquez and former champ Junior Dos Santos, UFC 166‘s main card will also feature Daniel Cormier‘s allegedly final appearance at HW against Roy Nelson, as well as Gabriel Gonzaga‘s punch-out with Shawn Jordan. On the lighter end of the scale, lightweight Gilbert Melendez looks for his first UFC win against Octagon veteran Diego Sanchez, and former flyweight title challenger John Dodson welcomes Darrell Montague to the promotion.

Handling play-by-play for the “Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3″ PPV broadcast is our buddy Anthony Gannon, who will be stacking live results after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and say whatever you feel like saying in our lawless cesspool of a comments section. Thanks for being here.

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‘UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3’ Main Event Breakdown — Why The Champ Will Repeat History


(Photo via Getty)

By George Shunick

Remember when Mark Hunt could have been the next contender for the heavyweight title? When everyone fantasized that the heavy-handed, iron-chinned Samoan might have challenged Cain Velasquez? It would have made an extraordinary narrative; the nigh-unbeatable champion facing a one-dimensional specialist who had improbably salvaged his career at the last possible opportunity with the ability to put anyone’s lights out. It’s the stuff movies are made of.

In this case, reality is better.

No disrespect to Mark Hunt or what he managed to achieve, but it’s a good thing Junior Dos Santos put him down with that spinning wheel kick. There is no better fight to make in the heavyweight division than Dos Santos vs. Velasquez. With Daniel Cormier dropping to light-heavyweight, none even come close. Velasquez and Dos Santos are the two best heavyweights by a considerable margin, each with the tools, the experience and the will necessary to defeat the other. Their story doesn’t depend on any degree of improbability, appeal to sentiment or require any context beyond this simple truth; that they are the epitome of their profession striving to attain a title beyond the title. They are attempting to lay claim to the title of the best heavyweight of their era, to establish the successor to The Last Emperor.

While both Dos Santos and Velasquez are well-rounded and durable, those qualities manifest themselves in different ways. Dos Santos is more fluid in his stand-up, hits with more power, and moves with seemingly less effort. His cardio is solid, and he actually has a relatively fast pace for a heavyweight. And in his loss to Velasquez last year, he showed an exceptional ability to mitigate damage from the bottom while regaining position and standing. Velasquez, on the other hand, seems to be force incarnate. He knows no direction but forward, his cardio is unrelenting, and while he lacks Dos Santos’ pure stand-up ability, he is able to transition effortlessly between kickboxing and wrestling. This is particularly effective because he always pushes forward, constantly threatening the takedown, which opens up opportunities for his underrated hands and hard kicks.

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Four Hidden Storylines For ‘UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3′


(Cain Velasquez shoots in on teammate Daniel Cormier at yesterday’s open workouts in Houston. / Photo via MMAFighting)

By Adam Martin

With UFC 166 being a 13-fight card, it wouldn’t be hard for some of this weekend’s storylines to fly under the radar. In fact, this card is so deep that I honestly think I could find 20 hidden storylines in it if I really wanted to. But instead I’ll just run down what I think are the top four hidden storylines to be aware of while watching the fights. Let me know what you think in the comments section, and be sure to come back to CagePotato on Saturday night for our liveblog of the pay-per-view broadcast.

1) Will Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos Fight More Than Just a Trilogy?

There has never been a four- or five-fight series in UFC history, but it’s entirely possible that Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos will meet once or twice more after this weekend’s rubber-match at UFC 166, particularly if dos Santos wins the title back.

Let’s face it, the heavyweight talent pool in MMA is very shallow, and Velasquez and dos Santos are the cream of the crop. They are truly the only two heavyweights in the UFC without any discernable weaknesses, and with their ability to consistently produce exciting matches (particularly against one another), the UFC would have no problem having these guys fight again in the future. The fact that both fighters have broad appeal in two huge markets (Velasquez in Mexico, dos Santos in Brazil) certainly helps as well. A four-fight series would make history, and you’d better believe the UFC would hammer home that point in promoting it.

But it really comes down to how the third fight goes. If it’s a blowout for either guy, a fourth fight won’t be as intriguing, and would be unlikely to happen. But if it’s a competitive war that makes the fans go nuts, we can all look forward to Velasquez vs. Dos Santos IV. And soon.

2) Did Daniel Cormier Make a Mistake by Prematurely Announcing a Drop to 205?

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: ‘UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos’ Edition

By Dan “Get Off Me” George and Jared Jones

This weekend, the be all end all title fight between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez is going down at UFC 166, so to ring in this special occasion, we’ve decided to switch things up for this edition of the Gambling Addiction Enabler. Not only will you be receiving the trusted, well-researched advice of Dan “Get Off Me” George, but additionally, CagePotato staff writer (and former GAE master-picker) Jared Jones will be jumping in to deliver the onslaught of gifs and contradictory advice that you all know and love.

Without further ado, let’s get to the fights in question…

Stay the Hell Away From:

Hector Lombard (-185) vs. Nate Marquardt (+155)

DG: This fight should be at pick’em odds — proposing either fighter as a clear favorite is simply reckless and ignorant of the fact that both fighters have been prone to shockingly inconsistent performances as of late. On any given night, these guys can end a fight in spectacular fashion. Does Nate “The Great” show up and fight the Lombard we saw against Okami and Boetsch, or does he meet the man they call Shango and fight like he did against Saffiedine and Ellenberger? I’ll tentatively pick Marquardt here.

JJ: Well, if it’s “reckless and ignorant” that you want, you’ve come to the right source. (*sets fully-loaded revolver on table and spins it*)

I’m surprised you neglected to mention that Lombard will be fighting at welterweight for the first time in his UFC career, in what is one of the most transparent “Dropping a weight class to save your career” bouts in MMA History. Also, Lombard’s weight cut is going so poorly that he’s already talking about moving back up to middleweight. He’s assuming, of course, that the UFC won’t sever their ties with someone as overpaid as him following this weekend, which is wishful thinking in my opinion. Lombard is basically Rousimar Palhares + striking and since Marquardt already beat Palhares, MMAMath predicts a dominant victory for Marquardt 9.9 times out of 10. Reckless? Yes. Ignorant? Yes.

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Junior Dos Santos Cut His Forehead in Training Three Weeks Ago, Still Has Visible Scar


(Click the photo for a better look at the gash in question. / Props: MMAFighting)

UFC 166 heavyweight title challenger Junior Dos Santos showed up to open workouts in Houston yesterday with a noticeable scar on his forehead — the result of an accidental cut in his training camp about three weeks ago. The cut reportedly required three stitches, which have since been removed.

Though Dos Santos claimed he was “100% already,” it’s unquestionably a disadvantage in his rubber-match against Cain Velasquez this Saturday. It wouldn’t take much effort for Velasquez to re-open that cut with some well-placed punches, and due to the cut’s location, it’s possible that the blood-flow could affect Junior’s vision during the fight. (Not that Velasquez needs any head-starts to make that happen.)

Luckily, this happened far enough out from the event that the match itself wasn’t put in jeopardy (see: Gustafsson, Shamrock). But it’s just one more reason why Dos Santos needs to put Velasquez away early if he hopes to stand a chance.

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‘Velasquez vs. Dos Santos III’ Fight-Picking Contest: Win a Combat Line T-Shirt From Fear the Fighter!


(FTF’s Kickboxing tee. Check out the rest of their Combat Line shirts here.)

This Saturday at UFC 166 in Houston, heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and ex-champ Junior Dos Santos will meet for the third time in their best-of-seven series. Velasquez is currently sitting at a 2-1 favorite, thanks to the 25-minute whooping he put on JDS during their last fight. But as we’ve seen so many times in the past, heavyweight bouts can end with one punch. So how will things end this time?

Shoot us your predictions for the Velasquez vs. Dos Santos fight in the comments section of this post, and the most accurate guess will score a Combat Line t-shirt from our good buddies at Fear the Fighter. Your predictions should look something like this…

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[VIDEO] 5 Things We Learned From ‘UFC Primetime: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos III’ Episode 1


(Video via the UFC’s Youtube page)

In advance of their UFC 166 world heavyweight title main event on October 19th, champion Cain Velasquez and challenger Junior Dos Santos are being featured in another UFC Primetime documentary series. Episode 1 premiered Wednesday night and already began to reveal a number of interesting tidbits about the fighters and their training camps heading into the rubber match of their trilogy.

1. Junior Dos Santos may be challenging Georges St. Pierre for having the most scientific training camp in the world.

Dos Santos demonstrated incredible will and conditioning throughout the five-round beating he took from Velasquez in their second fight so it was amazing to hear that he wasn’t at his best for the fight, physically. In fact, the then-champion had over-trained for the fight, resulting in a nasty condition called rhabdomyolysis, where muscle fibers were breaking off and let loose into his blood stream.

To make sure that doesn’t happen again to him this training camp, we learned in last night’s episode that Dos Santos has employed a group of scientists who constantly test his blood. He gets his blood drawn at home, he gets it drawn at the gym right before sparring and the white coats spend the rest of the day testing and analyzing his samples and preparing reports for Junior and his team. Dos Santos’ sophisticated strength and conditioning program is informed by that blood work.

By the looks of it, this is some of the most scientific preparation we’ve seen outside of Georges St. Pierre doing gymnastics and benefiting from the French-Canadian supplement-wrestling complex.

2. Daniel Cormier doesn’t plan on showering after he fights Roy Nelson.

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Classic UFC Fight: Cain Velasquez Beats Bejesus Out of Brock Lesnar, Wins Heavyweight Title


(Fight starts at the 3:03 mark. Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

With UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez set to make his Octagon return next month at UFC 166, the UFC has released the video of his first-ever title fight, which took place at UFC 121 on October 23rd, 2010. His opponent that night was Brock Lesnar, the reigning champ who had proven his toughness the previous July with a classic comeback win against Shane Carwin. Lesnar was gigantic, athletic, and had legit talent as a wrestler. To stand a chance at winning, Velasquez would need to be faster, more efficient with his striking, and more willing to take abuse before giving it back. And that’s exactly what happened.

After some rather hoarse-voiced introductions from The Buff, Lesnar bull-rushes the smaller challenger right away, hoping to establish himself as alpha-male. And it actually works, at first. Brock stuffs some knees into Velasquez’s midsection (including a flying knee), and Cain has to retreat momentarily. He storms back with some punches but Lesnar responds by nailing a takedown and landing on top — a position that had spelled doom for the majority of his past opponents. But Cain gets to his feet immediately.

Brock struggles to put Velasquez’s back on the mat once again, and momentarily succeeds, but Velasquez is up even quicker the second time, and deftly escapes Lesnar’s grasp. It’s here that the momentum shifts. Velasquez begins popping Lesnar with punches, showing off his significant advantage in striking technique, before single-legging Lesnar to the mat and firing down some punches from above as Lesnar is turtled. Eventually he escapes to his feet, but he looks much worse for the wear, hunched over, dazed, swatting at Velasquez in panic.

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