In the main event of the evening at UFC 166, heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez put his title on the line against former champ Junior dos Santos as they met to complete their trilogy with the title of heavyweight champ and perhaps the greatest heavyweight in the world.
Tonight, it was all about figuring out which of the two men was the better fighter, so we expected the best.
Dos Santos immediately came into the center of the cage and landed a huge shot that stumbled Velasquez, but the champ quickly tied up the challenger to regain his composure. WIth dos Santos pressured up against the cage, Velasquez was able to use some dirty boxing to land shots,
Dos Santos was landing the power early, but Velasquez was grinding dos Santos against the cage which was allowing him to empty out the gas tank of the challenger, which has come into question before.
Velasquez dropped dos Santos to the mat with a slick takedown and was immediately beginning to work from inside of the half guard as he rained down some heavy ground-and-pound. Velasquez eventually transitioned to dos Santos’ back, but the challenger was able to get back to his feet. Velasquez’s pace was overwhelming early and dos Santos was unable to find the separation and clean shots once Velasquez implemented his game plan.
The first round was all Cain, so you would have to believe it was 10-9 for the champion.
A wild exchange began Round 2, before dos Santos threw a kick that Velasquez caught and used to push dos Santos against the cage and continue to smother him and impose his will.
Dos Santos was able to land a brief takedown of his own, but the champion bounced right back to his feet and landed some big shots as dos Santos retreated to the cage. Velasquez was continuing to overwhelm dos Santos as the Brazilian’s face continues to swell and his legs were unloaded on with a barrage of knees.
At the end of the round, dos Santos landed a clean shot on Velasquez but the bell rang.
Like the first round, Round 2 was once again all Velasquez.
Dos Santos opened up the third with a huge right hand, but Velasquez immediately closed the distance and continued to work dos Santos up against the cage to keep the pressure on. The good news for dos Santos was that he was still packing power. He just needed an opportunity to find the opening at a distance.
Velasquez was searching for a takedown, but dos Santos was showing some excellent takedown defense.
Unfortunately, Velasquez connected with a huge shot that sent dos Santos flailing to the mat. Referee Herb Dean was dangerously close to stopping the fight, but he made the call to let it go as Velasquez was picking his shots in an effort to land the fight ending shot.
Dos Santos was being held up by the cage and pure will, as he escaped the third round after taking incredible punishment.
It was very well a 10-8 round as Velasquez was able to dominate yet again.
In the fourth round, Velasquez hit a huge overhand right to start the round as Cain once again got off first and pushed the challenger against the cage, but he was able to land a devastating flurry that left dos Santos wobbly with nothing left to give.
Dos Santos did still have a punchers chance to land a knockout blow, but Velasquez kept the pressure on tight and was not giving dos Santos the opening that he needed.
Herb Dean stopped the fight in the middle of the fourth round to have the doctor come in and examine dos Santos’ cut and swollen eye, but the fight continued despite the overwhelming pressure from Velasquez.
It was turning into a bloodbath with just six minutes remaining in the fightand it appeared that the doctors could be close to calling a stop to the action at any time.
Here is dos Santos’ face after the fourth round, via Zombie Prophet:
In the final round, Velasquez kept the pressure on and finished off the fight with even more pressure and a full gas tank. The cardio of the champion was absolutely unreal. After plenty of punishment, dos Santos looked for a final attempt at a submission, but Velasquez was able to slip out and dos Santos went face first into the mat before Herb Dean called an end to the fight.
It was an absolutely dominating performance by the champ on way to a final round knockout win.
The stoppage came at 3:05 of the final round.
- UFC 166 results: Daniel Cormier dominates Roy Nelson on way to decision win
- UFC 166 results: Gilbert Melendez edges Diego Sanchez in unbelievable war
- UFC 166 results: Gabriel Gonzaga KOs Shawn Jordan in under 2 minutes
- UFC 166 results: John Dodson destroys Darrell Montague with first round KO
- UFC 166 results: Tim Boetsch defeats CB Dollaway via split decision
- UFC 166 results: Hector Lombard KOs Nate Marquardt in Round 1
- UFC 166 results: Jessica Eye edges Sarah Kaufman via split-decision