UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3 Preview
This Saturday, October 19th,
the Ultimate Fighting Championship hosts the third fight in a
heavyweight championship trilogy when champion Cain Velasquez (12-1)
faces off against No. 1 contender and former champion Junior dos
The event is taking place in Houston, Texas and starts with online preliminary matchups at 6:15PM EDT
before moving to Fox Sports 1 for undercard fights at 8PM EDT and
then the main card on pay-per-view starting at 10PM EDT.
In the first fight between the two
heavyweights, challenger Junior dos Santos finished the champion with
a 64-second knockout, blitzing and finishing the fight. Dos Santos
then successfully defended his title with a second round knockout of
veteran Frank Mir.
After losing the title, Velasquez
fought and defeated Antonio Silva before getting another title shot
against dos Santos.
In the first round of that fight, fans
saw a very aggressive Velasquez, pushing the pace, leading with a
strong jab and overhand right before stepping in for a low leg shot.
With about a minute and a half left in the round, dos Santos was
clipped by Velasquez, allowing him to control the champion on the
ground and land some vicious bombs for the remainder of the round.
Dos Santos attempted to recover to his feet multiple times but was
drug down by Cain’s superior positioning.
In the second round, dos Santos was
more aggressive but found himself on his back foot for the majority
of the stand-up before being controlled and taken repeatedly to the
ground by the challenger. We even saw an attempted arm bar from the
challenger. The remainder of the fight belonged to Velasquez as he
controlled and dominated the champion, winning by unanimous decision.
Since that fight, dos Santos has had a
win over veteran Mark Hunt before receiving this shot to regain the
In this fight, I anticipate that
Velasquez will attempt to do more of the same. He will spend some
time making dos Santos work to stay on his feet and feeding him leg
kicks and combos before eventually dragging him to the ground and
either riding him out or finishing him with good and effective ground
and pound. Unlike many fighters who utilize a strong wrestling game,
Velasquez is very successful at throwing big shots that land in an
attempt to finish the match up while scrambling to improve position
and attempt submissions.
If the fight stays on its feet and dos
Santos is able to establish himself in the middle of the cage, I
think that he may have an edge in striking and could clip the
champion and finish the fight. This edge changes if Velasquez puts
him on his back foot. If the fight goes into the later rounds, dos
Santos will have to hope that he has worked on his cardio enough to
be able to handle the pace that Velasquez brought to the Octagon the
last time these two met.
Also fighting on the main card will be No. 2 contender Daniel Cormier versus Roy Nelson in a heavyweight
showdown, Gilbert Melendez (21-3) facing off against Diego Sanchez (26-5) in the lightweight division, heavyweights Gabriel Gonzaga versus
Shawn Jordan and flyweights John Dodson, who is the number 2
contender, and Darrell Montague who is making his UFC debut.