During today's UFC phone conference Dana White announced that Cain Velasquez versus Junior dos Santos would be moved from UFC 139 over to the first UFC on Fox card set to take place on November 12th in Anaheim, California at the Honda Center.
What was previously said to be a two fight event will now instead only have one fight scheduled to air due to the nature of the bout potentially going five rounds. In the event that the fight doesn't go the distance undercard fights will be aired to fill the time left in the one hour time block.
Scheduling only one fight for the main card and that bout being a heavyweight fight stirs up many questions over if this move was the smartest choice for the UFC brass to make for this event. It's widely considered that the most unpredictable fights are those that involve heavyweights. With the sheer strength that they possess, fights can frequently end rather quickly due to the knockout power that can be delivered with any given shot by these men.
Junior's last two fights have gone the distance but other than these he's never gone the distance in a fight. On top of that, the two opponents that he's faced in those fights—Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin, have a combined number of one knockout loss on their records; Nelson being knocked out by Andrei Arlovski back in October of 2008.
In the case of Velasquez he has finished all but one of his opponents via knockout, the sole man to make it through a fight with Cain being Cheik Kongo. As we all know, in Kongo's last fight he recovered from multiple flash knockouts against Pat Barry to come back and knock Barry out himself in one of the best come-from-behind knockouts in UFC history, arguably only behind Smith's comeback over Pete Sell at the Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale.
To attempt to argue that Kongo doesn't have a solid chin would be a hard argument to make; he took all that Cain had to offer, ate coma-inducing shots from Barry to still win, and has only been finished standing by Gilbert Yvel—a man that at the time when their fight took place was known for viscously stopping opponents with his superior striking.
Aside from the fact that both men possess the power to stop either man, very little is actually known about either man's chin. To this point it's considered that both have very solid chins but at the end of the day we don't really know for sure.
In Junior's career he's never been tested, and when I say never I literally mean no man has ever even came close to mounting any type of effective offense against him in the cage. He's absolutely outclassed every opponent he's ever faced and made the toughest competition of his career, Shane Carwin, look like a human punching bag. Whether or not he can take a flush shot from a hard puncher is yet to be seen.
Cain falls into a somewhat similar case as his adversary Santos does. With the exception of his fight with Kongo, Cain hasn't really had that many tough challenges thrown his way either. In his fight with Kongo, he was dazed multiple times but was able to come to his senses quick enough to tie Kongo up before he could land anymore blows. It could be argued that if Cain would've been more wreckless in his fight with Kongo and didn't play it smart by closing the distance in those instances with the frenchman that he would've been finished, but we'll never be able to truly know.
Clearly, both of these men possess the power to end the night for either man. The only real question that's left to be answered is if either man can take a shot from the other. Both Cain and Junior possess superior stand-up when compared to the rest of the UFC heavyweight division, which they have both used to end an overwhelming majority of their fights. In their combined 25 fights, 16 of those have ended by them knocking their opponent out.
It appears that real question that should be debated in the buildup for this fight isn't whether or not the fight will go the distance, but which round the fight will be ended. At the end of the day fans will be more than pleased to watch undercard bouts on the live portion of the card, but it seems that the UFC could potentially plant a bigger footprint on Fox by scheduling to fights to air versus one. Whether or not this will have any impact on the numbers they pull in for this card is yet to be known, but it's something that should definitely at the least be questioned.
Make no mistake about it, Cain Velasquez versus Junior dos Santos is one hell of a fight, but as Josh Gross retweeted today, this is not like Ali-Foreman. This is the first title defense for Velasquez against a young fighter not on the same level. Add to the fact that neither man are proven to draw in big ratings by themselves, we might see results that could've been better with a different lineup.
THIS CAN ALSO BE READ AT WWW.JOESHOWRADIO.COM