The end of the first round was all the drama you can ask for in a fight. As the round drew near to the end, dos Santos turned up the aggression and began really landing on Carwin. When Carwin dropped, dos Santos swarmed him, landing a series of tough ground and pound blows. At one point, dos Santos looked towards referee Herb Dean to stop the fight, but in a scene reminiscent of Shane Carwin vs. Brock Lesnar, Dean saw just enough defense from Carwin to let the fight continue. dos Santos learned from Carwin's mistake and let his opponent up. The shot of Carwin, bleeding heavily, and badly beaten, dragging himself to his feet to once again step into the fight is an iconic moment that fans won't soon forget.
Where do these guys go from here?
For dos Santos the path is all laid out - next stop: Cain Velasquez and the Heavyweight title. We're not sure when that will be as Velasquez is still recovering from injury, but hopefully dos Santos won't have to sit on the shelf for long. That fight should be a great one from a sporting perspective, but with neither man yet showing the kind of big personality that catches the attention of all fans, it will be interesting to see what kind of interest it draws.
Carwin is in a very tough position. He's on a two fight losing streak, he's 36 years old, and he will likely need some time to recover from this fight. I outlined this earlier today, but I think his time as a title contender ended with this fight. Next up for him should be a mid-range opponent - perhaps now is the time to reschedule that Roy Nelson fight originally planned for January.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Watch it now to both see the end of Carwin's run at the top, and the clear birth of the new #1 contender.
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