The UFC 166 pay-per-view headliner saw Cain Velasquez take on Junior dos Santos for the heavyweight championship in a trilogy between these two top heavyweights. The bout almost lasted the full 25 minutes. The challenger had his moments where he looked to have hurt the champion, but for the most part, it was Velasquez implementing an excellent game plan which wore down Dos Santos until he managed to secure a finish late in the 5th round.
Although Velasquez managed to take Dos Santos down a few times, he once again had a hard time keeping his rival down on the ground. This also happened during the second fight, but a great adjustment was made and Cain was instead able to implement an effective 'wall-n-maul' strategy for majority of this bout. For majority of the contest, Cain closed the distance and pushed Junior up the fence, constantly landing knee strikes and dirty boxing which wore down his opponent.
He effectively neutralized Dos Santos' boxing as he never gave him room to breathe, and it left the challenger to attempt very few elbow strikes from the clinch. He wasn't really able to reverse the position for most of the contest, and Cain continued to pile on with small shots that took its toll.
On the third round, Velasquez came really close to securing a finish after landing a big right hand. He dropped Junior twice that round, and Herb Dean almost stopped the contest when Cain was going in for the kill. Dos Santos was able to survive, but the following rounds it still went the same way. Velasquez continued with his effective strategy until he was able to completely wear down Dos Santos in the 5th. Junior desperately attempted a choke to try and finish the fight, but as Cain shrugged him over, he dropped down and Velasquez landed a flurry which forced the referee to stop the fight. The final result: Cain Velasquez def. Junior dos Santos by TKO (punches), at 3:09 of Round 5
What was the high point?
The high point was definitely the flurry on the third, which was essentially a 10-8 round. Velasquez dropped him twice and literally came really close to finishing the contest.
What was the low point?
There were a few lulls during the contest from Cain's game plan of keeping it conservative and tight on the fence. He didn't throw with full power, and while it was a very effective strategy, it did leave some dull moments on the second round, and for a few other portions of the contest.
Where do they go from here?
According to Dana White, Fabricio Werdum might be getting the next title shot, so he will likely be the next in line for Cain Velasquez. As for Junior, he still clearly is the number 2 heavyweight in the world, but this second bad loss to Velasquez puts him in a weird situation. Even if he's considered to be miles ahead of the rest of the UFC heavyweights he will likely have to defeat a quite few top guys and look great at it before he can convince the UFC brass to give him another shot.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Now. It reaches the 5th round, but it's a heavyweight title bout that really put a stamp on the trilogy between two of the best heavyweights of this generation.
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