Cain-JDS III was nearly stopped early
NOV 04, 2013 6:15p ET
Referee Herb Dean came so close to stopping the UFC heavyweight title fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos in the third round that Velasquez's corner started celebrating.
This UFC 166 Fight Flashback goes behind the scenes of that bloody, Oct. 19 trilogy battle in Houston with new audio and video footage. The fight truly turned in Velasquez's favor when he landed a huge right hand in that third round, buckling dos Santos' knees. After that, the challenger was in survival mode until Velasquez finished him in the fifth round to retain his belt.
Before that third-round barrage, Velasquez's corner told him not to expend energy by trying to take dos Santos down â just press him up against the cage and rough him up. Of course, Velasquez executed that game plan perfectly, never letting the Brazilian get into a rhythm.
After a fourth round that saw Velasquez continue to dominate with dirty boxing, dos Santos' corner told him he had to finish the champion if he had any hope of winning.
"Don't wait," his trainers said. "Hit him right away. It's now or never."
Dos Santos never got the chance. Velasquez did the same thing that worked the previous five rounds and dos Santos was unable to continue after hitting his head on the canvas following a takedown attempt.
After the fight, Velasquez is shown walking with head trainer Javier Mendez in the bowels of the Toyota Center, his face covered with bandages. Just another day at work for the guy who might be the best UFC heavyweight champion of all time.
Velasquez has now beaten dos Santos twice after being knocked out by his rival back in November 2011 on FOX.