After all the hype, we were left with just over one minute of action, and a new Heavyweight champion. In the big UFC debut on Fox, Junior dos Santos KO'd Cain Velasquez in just over a minute to become the new UFC Heavyweight champion. Surely dos Santos now moves up to a position as the world's top Heavyweight, as he is now 14-1 and a flawless 8-0 in the UFC against some tough competition. Velsaquez earns the first loss of his career, and is now 9-1.
The common logic going in was that if Velsaquez could drag the fight into the later rounds, he would have an advantage, but that dos Santos had the hands to end it quickly. It turned out that the second option was correct. Both men started by exchanging standing, but dos Santos landed a hard right hand by Cain's ear. The champion fell to the mat, stunned and disoriented. Dos Santos showed great killer instinct, finishing him off, and claiming the belt. Perhaps it wasn't the back and forth war that Fox and the UFC wanted, but for fans of the sport, it was a shockingly dominant win and a great way to welcome Cigano into the highest ranks of the division.
What was the high spot of this fight?
It's 64 seconds of action, so really the whole thing is a highlight reel, but obviously the big dos Santos right hand KO is the money moment.
Where do these guys go from here?
Last night, the path was made clear for Junior dos Santos. As the new champion, he'll next face the winner of Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem at UFC 141. Both present interesting match-ups, though completely different styles. Lesnar vs. dos Santos would be a do-over of the planned Ultimate Fighter grudge match from earlier this year, while a dos Santos vs. Overeem contest would be a battle between the top two strikers in the Heavyweight ranks.
As for the former champion, there's talk of Velasquez rematching Cheick Kongo now, though that seems pointless to me. Cain should stay at the top, fighting the very best. I'd like to see him against Shane Carwin, Frank Mir, or one of the potential incoming Strikeforce Heavyweights.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Now. A historic night, and a 64 second KO to crown a new champion. Really, no reason at all not to watch.
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