Whoever walks out of the Octagon as the victor at the conclusion of Saturday's UFC 166 main event will not only be the UFC heavyweight champion, they'll also be the best heavyweight fighter in the history of the UFC. At least that's how UFC president Dana White sees things.
White, speaking to the media on Thursday said :
I think these two are the two best heavyweights in the world, they're in their prime and yeah (I think the winner is the best heavyweight in UFC history). This is a great fight. I've been really excited about this fight.
White's excitement was noticeable when he discussed the fight between current UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos. This wasn't just promoter speak to build hype for the third fight between the two, White's enthusiasm seemed genuine, and he explained why:
I honestly have no idea what can happen in this fight. In the second fight, I didn't think Cain Velasquez could hurt him on his feet, and he did.
Did he ever? Velasquez left Dos Santos nearly unrecognizable after the five round beating he put on the former champion in that UFC 155 matchup. Velasquez landed a whopping 210 strikes during the bout, while Dos Santos mustered only 66.
White did mention the fact that Dos Santos was going through some personal issues, (the end of his ten-year marriage) at the time:
You have the argument that Junior was going through a lot of personal problems in the last fight and that absolutely makes a difference. To say that doesn't make a difference is crazy.
White was quick to point out that Velasquez was suffering from an injury (sprained MCL) during the first bout between the two at UFC on Fox 1. That fight ended with Dos Santos handing Velasquez the first and only loss of his MMA career, TKO'ing the then champion at the 1:04 mark of Round One.
The manner in which the two previous bouts ended has White looking forward to the rubber match. Not only is the UFC president looking forward to the fight, he thinks it's the biggest trilogy bout in the history of the UFC, surpassing the 12 trilogies that have already been completed under the UFC banner:
The reason is (it's) two heavyweights in their prime and the way that the first two fights went. (Dos Santos) knocks him (Velasquez) out in the first fight in the first round, and then he (Velasquez) destroys him (Dos Santos) in the second fight. There's no way to break this fight down.
UFC 166 takes place on Saturday from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
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