"Ladies and gentleman we have a new contender in the heavyweight division," said UFC announcer Joe Rogan after seeing three rounds of dominance by Cain Velasquez over Cheick Kongo. Kongo scored repeatedly on the feet in all three rounds, but Velasquez forced the fight to the ground again and again, kept it there and rained down blows from top position.
In a fight with serious implications for the UFC heavyweight title picture, veteran French kickboxer Cheick Kongo faced off with the fast rising wrestler Cain Velasquez. Not just a clash of styles, the bout pitted representatives of two of today's top MMA camps: Kongo's Wolfslair and Velasquez' American Kickboxing Academy.
In the opening action, Kongo rocked Velasquez with a two punch combination that forced Velasquez to immediately shoot for a takedown. Once there, Velasquez worked an aggressive ground and pound game, moved from side-mount to mount, then getting Kongo's back and working for a choke. Kongo fought his way back to his feet, only to go down again. Kongo fought gamely, surviving a battering from a range of dominant positions by Velasquez throughout the round. Kongo scored a moral win by getting back to his feet as the buzzer rang.
To open the second round, Kongo scored again on the feet but was quickly drawn back into a clinch fight where Velasquez had the advantage. It didn't take long in the clinch before the American fighter once again got the takedown. On the ground, the battery continued with Velasquez scoring with hammer punches while riding the Frenchman's back. Post-round highlights showed that Kongo dropped the American with a right to the temple, but it wasn't enough to deter Velasquez.
In the final round, Kongo connected again before scoring a takedown of his own. Unfortunately, Velasquez, the vastly more experienced wrestler quickly got top position and recommenced the assualt from top position. With two minutes left, Kongo fought back to his fight and scored in the clinch with knees. Once they separated, Kongo scored with punches only to be taken down again by Velasquez where he once again ate many many punches from the top. Kongo fought gamely to the end but couldn't do anything to win.