Story by Anthony Springer Jr.
At the inaugural UFC on Fox event, the then UFC heavyweight champion, Cain Velasquez and challenger Junior dos Santos (15-1) had the most watched heavyweight title bout in the company’s history.
Though it lasted just 64 seconds, it stamped the UFC—and its heavyweight division—as something to keep an eye on. At the event’s post fight press conference, Dana White lamented that the division’s heavyweight division was the strongest that it’d ever been.
And now things come full circle.
UFC 146, the first all-heavyweight main card was an impressive show of fireworks. And main and co-main event performances from champion Junior dos Santos and new number one contender Cain Velasquez (10-1) set up a perfect storm for the top-tier heavies to slug it out again.
“I like it,” White said when asked about a rematch between dos Santos and Velasquez.
After watching Velasquez put on a dominant performance against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, several at the press conference were not willing to accept White simply “liking” the fight. Had it been up to a few, the bout would’ve been signed on the spot. Further questioning promoted White to say that Velasquez “deserved” the title shot.
It wasn’t just that Velasquez won, it was the way in which he did it. Silva was taken down just seconds after the opening bell. What followed was a ballet of violence never seen before from Velasquez and eerily reminiscent to the aftermath of several BJ Penn fights.
A short elbow sliced Silva’s face open. Saying that Silva looked like an extra in a slasher flick might be the understatement of the year. After the 3:36 beat down commenced, UFC crew members literally wiped pools of blood up from the Octagon canvas.
Truly a sight to see.
Dos Santos on the other hand used Frank Mir as target practice. He weaved in and out, slamming the Las Vegan with one and two punch combinations en route to scoring a second round TKO finish.
Snaring the title from dos Santos will be no easy task. His toughest fight in the UFC to date was a decision victory over Roy Nelson. However, Velasquez subtly through down the gauntlet at UFC 146’s post fight press conference that he wants the title back.
“The only reason I got into this sport was to be the champion,” he said in his usually calm tone. “I don’t feel right without it.”
And while dos Santos will be looking for lightening to strike twice in his next meeting with Velasquez, the able Cain is already forming a new game plan.
“He has those fast, heavy hands and that good footwork. I would have to take the fight to him.”
Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II is far from signed…but here’s hoping it’ll end up where it started—on another UFC on Fox card.
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For more on the UFC or UFC 146, visit UFC.com