UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3 Preview

UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3 Preview

This Saturday, October 19th,the Ultimate Fighting Championship hosts the third fight in aheavyweight championship trilogy when champion Cain Velasquez (12-1)faces off against No. 1 contender and former champion Junior dosSantos.

The event is taking place in Houston, Texas and starts with online preliminary matchups at 6:15PM EDTbefore moving to Fox Sports 1 for undercard fights at 8PM EDT andthen the main card on pay-per-view starting at 10PM EDT.

In the first fight between the twoheavyweights, challenger Junior dos Santos finished the champion witha 64-second knockout, blitzing and finishing the fight. Dos Santosthen successfully defended his title with a second round knockout ofveteran Frank Mir.

After losing the title, Velasquezfought and defeated Antonio Silva before getting another title shotagainst dos Santos.

In the first round of that fight, fanssaw a very aggressive Velasquez, pushing the pace, leading with astrong 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 wasclipped by Velasquez, allowing him to control the champion on theground and land some vicious bombs for the remainder of the round.Dos Santos attempted to recover to his feet multiple times but wasdrug down by Cain’s superior positioning.

In the second round, dos Santos wasmore aggressive but found himself on his back foot for the majorityof the stand-up before being controlled and taken repeatedly to theground by the challenger. We even saw an attempted arm bar from thechallenger. The remainder of the fight belonged to Velasquez as hecontrolled and dominated the champion, winning by unanimous decision.

Since that fight, dos Santos has had awin over veteran Mark Hunt before receiving this shot to regain thetitle.

In this fight, I anticipate thatVelasquez will attempt to do more of the same. He will spend sometime making dos Santos work to stay on his feet and feeding him legkicks and combos before eventually dragging him to the ground andeither riding him out or finishing him with good and effective groundand pound. Unlike many fighters who utilize a strong wrestling game,Velasquez is very successful at throwing big shots that land in anattempt to finish the match up while scrambling to improve positionand attempt submissions.

If the fight stays on its feet and dosSantos is able to establish himself in the middle of the cage, Ithink that he may have an edge in striking and could clip thechampion and finish the fight. This edge changes if Velasquez putshim on his back foot. If the fight goes into the later rounds, dosSantos will have to hope that he has worked on his cardio enough tobe able to handle the pace that Velasquez brought to the Octagon thelast time these two met.

Also fighting on the main card will be No. 2 contender Daniel Cormier versus Roy Nelson in a heavyweightshowdown, Gilbert Melendez (21-3) facing off against  Diego Sanchez (26-5) in the lightweight division, heavyweights Gabriel Gonzaga versusShawn Jordan and flyweights John Dodson, who is the number 2contender, and Darrell Montague who is making his UFC debut.