Velasquez defends UFC title with TKO of Dos Santos

Cain Velasquez said for weeks leading up to his UFC 166 main

event bout against Junior Dos Santos that this would be the end of

their rivalry and a third fight between the pair of heavyweight

behemoths would be the last.

The series was tied at one win a piece heading into Saturday

night with each fight ending emphatically, leaving no doubt who was

the winner. With a chance to cement his legacy as the greatest

heavyweight champion in UFC history, Velasquez wanted to leave no

doubt who was the best fighter in his trilogy with Dos Santos.

It didn’t take long for

Velasquez to showcase his dominance tagging Dos

Santos with heavy shots throughout the first two frames of the

fight, punishing the Brazilian with relentless clinch work against

the cage and unloading a barrage of punches any time he tried to

breathe.

Dos Santos looked winded midway through the second round and

continuously backed up against the cage, which played directly into

Velasquez’s hand where he controlled the clinch and muscled his

opponent around the Octagon.

In the third round, Velasquez, the former Arizona State wrestler from Yuma, smelled blood from an oxygen

deprived Dos Santos, and launched a monster punch that dropped his

foe to the mat. Velasquez followed him to the canvas looking to

pour on the damage, but Dos Santos scrambled and caught just enough

breathing room to get back to his feet.

It didn’t get any better for him there as Velasquez was like a

hammer just pounding away at Dos Santos, each punch leaving a fist

imprint smothered in blood on his opponent’s head. Referee Herb

Dean took a close look and almost stepped in to stop the fight, but

realizing that Dos Santos was still moving and not finished he let

the fight continue.

With his face covered in a crimson mask of his own blood, Dos

Santos tried valiantly to battle back but the pressure from

Velasquez was like a vice grip and he wasn’t letting up until his

job was finished.

The doctors cleaned up Dos Santos as best they could while he

struggled to see anything out of his left eye. The Brazilian was

left with barely any vision and a mouth wide open begging for air

with each gasp.

By the fifth round, Velasquez was firmly in control, savagely

beating Dos Santos to the punch with each and every exchange. The

former champion tried to throw something back at Velasquez, but

with exhaustion setting in there just wasn’t enough left in the

tank to do any kind of damage.

The writing was on the wall that Velasquez was on his way to

victory, but he didn’t want the judges to have any say in his

second title defense. Velasquez stepped forward again and again,

and he clipped Dos Santos late in the fight and the Brazilian

couldn’t handle any more.

Dos Santos dropped to his knees, hands laying in front of him as

Velasquez cracked down with a few more punches and Dean stepped in

to mercifully stop the carnage. A broken and bloody Dos Santos

stood and immediately grabbed Velasquez’s arm, raising it to the

crowd and conceding the championship to the better man.

Velasquez (13-1) now ties the UFC record for most title defenses

in the heavyweight division with another impressive performance.

The former Arizona State wrestler has looked unstoppable in his

three fights since losing to Dos Santos in 2011, and the rest of

the division will have to put in some serious work to take that

title away from him.

The loss for Dos Santos (16-3) — and a second in a row to

Velasquez — means that he will have to climb back up the

ladder and hope for a change at the top of the division to get

another shot at the belt. With two lopsided defeats courtesy of

Velasquez, Dos Santos will now have to sit on the outside looking

in so long as the American Kickboxing Academy heavyweight holds

onto the UFC gold.