Cain Velasquez defends UFC title

Cain Velasquez defends UFC title

By Brett Okamoto Via ESPN – HOUSTON — There will be no need for a fourth fight. Not any time soon, at least.

The heavyweight trilogy between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos delivered a conclusive result on Saturday, as Velasquez dominated en route to a TKO finish in the fifth round at UFC 166.

Velasquez (13-1) defended the belt for the second consecutive time, becoming just the fourth fighter ever to do so. His only professional loss came to dos Santos in November 2011, via a first-round knockout.

“[The game plan] was the same as the last fight,” said Velasquez, who won the second meeting by unanimous decision. “Pressure, but throw better punches. Crisper punches, so I could beat him to the punch. He has great heart.”
Dos Santos (16-3) struggled with Velasquez’s aggressive style from the opening round. He staggered Velasquez early with a short right hand, but even that didn’t stop the former collegiate wrestler from coming forward.

It felt as if dos Santos was fighting two opponents: Velasquez and the cage. The 29-year-old Brazilian could not circle off the fence, leaving him with no space to throw his notoriously dangerous knockout punches.

A straight right hand by Velasquez dropped dos Santos in the third round. He managed to recover and get back to his feet, but the damage was irreparable. He suffered a deep cut over his left eye, which required medical attention twice.

“He’s very — what can I say? He beat me up,” dos Santos said.

Similar to the display of heart he showed in the second fight, dos Santos willed himself to throw dangerous punches even in the later rounds. He backed Velasquez off in the fourth with a left elbow from the cage, but Velasquez was never in trouble.

In the final round, dos Santos attempted a standing D’Arce choke. Velasquez shrugged it off violently, throwing both heavyweights to the ground. Dos Santos remained on his knees after the collision with nothing left. Velasquez moved in with punches, and referee Herb Dean stopped the bout at the 3:09 mark.

The trilogy was the 10th in UFC history, in which all three fights took place in the Octagon. Fabricio Werdum is expected to face Velasquez as the next No. 1 heavyweight contender.

Cormier nullifies Nelson, takes decision
When Roy Nelson doesn’t land his signature right hand, he struggles to win.

He didn’t land it on Daniel Cormier on Saturday night.

Cormier (13-0) remained unbeaten as a professional mixed martial artist, defeating Nelson in a clean, decisive unanimous decision. All three judges scored it a sweep for Cormier, 30-27.

“The game plan was to stand with him in the first round and take him down in the last two,” Cormier said.
In his last heavyweight appearance before an attempt to drop weight class, Cormier brought a well-rounded, intelligent game plan to the Octagon. He wore on Nelson’s gas tank early, forcing him to defend takedowns and counter grapple.

Cormier didn’t really dominate Nelson (19-9) on the ground, but he took away his biggest weapon early — the right hand. Four minutes in, Nelson took a deep breath against the fence as Cormier worked on a single leg.

The takedown attempts slowed down in the second and third rounds, as Cormier relied on a quick jab and footwork to avoid the haymaker. It wasn’t all defensive tactics by Cormier, either. He landed several hard right hands of his own on the feet.

In the third, a confident Cormier showcased his diversity and his ability to keep a desperate Nelson at distance. He started throwing head kicks and front kicks to keep Nelson on the outside.

Cormier reiterated his intention to move to the light heavyweight division in his next fight. He’s 2-0 in the UFC cage, with back-to-back decision wins against Nelson and Frank Mir. Nelson falls to 6-5 in the Octagon.

Comments

  1. Hate I missed it. Can’t wait to see it in a few weeks on FS1. I’ve got the prelims recorded. Will watch prolly after Talladega. I really enjoyed the Jon Jones fight on replay from UFC 165 I think, last PPV anyway. Now, next PPV I’m buying I hope. #Rousey! Can’t miss it!! Lol!

  2. Thank you so much, and Happy New Year to you too!!

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