UFC 155: Cain Velasquez mauls Junior dos Santos to win back UFC heavyweight title (Yahoo! Sports)

  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

LAS VEGAS – Cain Velasquez put on a dominant performance reminiscent of his title-winning effort in 2010 over Brock Lesnar, routing Junior dos Santos Saturday to regain the UFC heavyweight title before a raucous crowd in the MGM Grand Garden. 

Dos Santos won the title 13 months ago by knocking out Velasquez in just 64 seconds. But in the rematch at UFC 155 on Saturday, it was never close. Velasquez won by scores of 50-45, 50-44 and 50-43, delivering what he said was a late Christmas present for his wife, Michelle.

Velasquez repeatedly took dos Santos down and hurt him early with a massive right hand. Velasquez tore into him.

Dos Santos staggered back from a right hand early in the first round and never really got back into the fight. His right eye was mangled from the constant punishment he was taking.

Velasquez, who insisted that the outcome would be different in the rematch, showed his legendary cardiovascular ability. He pushed dos Santos farther than the Brazilian was able to go.

To his credit, dos Santos hung on. He was almost stopped in the first round, but never gave up and made it to the finish.

[Related: Suspended Alistair Overeem mocks Junior dos Santos during loss]

Velasquez, who is now 11-1 overall and 9-1 in the UFC, was never in jeopardy. He turned dos Santos' face into mush while largely avoiding the kind of big shots that led dos Santos to six knockouts in his previous nine UFC fights.

Jim Miller vs. Joe Lauzon

As good as the main event was, however, it was upstaged by the co-main. Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon didn't just put on the Fight of the Night in their three-round lightweight battle. They may have put on the Fight of the Year. 

Miller won a unanimous decision, winning 29-28 on all three cards, in a fight fought from start to finish at a frenetic pace. Miller was raking Lauzon was elbows and opened a massive gash that was several inches long on the middle of Lauzon's forehead.

[Also: Joe Lauzon left a bloody mess after fight with Jim Miller]

Lauzon was covered in blood, and the fight was briefly halted so the doctor could check it. He allowed it to continue, and they went on to put on a classic.

In the final 30 seconds, Lauzon went for a leg lock and a choke as he desperately tried to pull out a last-second victory.

It was an epic battle, but Miller's elbows ultimately were the difference. He not only opened Lauzon up with it, but he landed them repeatedly from the standup.

Tim Boetsch vs. Costa Philippou

Tim Boetsch had a rough night. He got a finger poke in the eye, suffered a cut on the forehead and may have broken his right hand in his match with Costa Philippou.

By the middle of the third round, he could barely pull himself to his feet. Referee Kim Winslow mercifully stopped it as Philippou was throwing punches from the top at 2:11 of the final round of the middleweight bout. 

[Related: Tim Boetsch suffers through rough night, loses Costa Phillippou]

Boetsch tried to keep taking Philippou down, but he never was able to get fully into the fight offensively because of his various injuries.

"I expected to win this fight, but not like this," Philippou said. "I made a few rookie mistakes in letting him take me down, but once we started trading blows back and forth later in the fight, I had him. I was eventually able to get the better of him in the striking game and have the fight stopped."

Alan Belcher vs. Yushin Okami

Alan Belcher's four-fight winning streak and the momentum he carried for a potential middleweight title shot came screeching to a halt at the hands of Yushin Okami. 

Okami repeatedly took Belcher down and held him on the mat in a fight that was neither exciting or pleasing to the crowd. Fans booed throughout the event and let their displeasure be known when the match ended. 

Judges had it 30-27 twice and 29-28 for Okami, who repeated a 2006 victory over Belcher. Belcher had little to offer and never got off track in a very uncharacteristically slow performance.

"The wrestling, striking and the clinch game were all successfully implemented in this fight to defeat Belcher," Okami said. "Belcher is a very tough opponent, and I feel that a win over Belcher should allow me to keep challenging more of the top guys in the middleweight division."

Derek Brunson vs. Chris Leben

The most notable thing to come out of the middleweight fight between Derek Brunson and Chris Leben is how tired both men were by the middle of the second round.

Brunson at least had an excuse, as he took the fight on short notice after Karlos Vermola pulled out, but it was a hard to watch fight.

Brunson's takedowns were the difference in a unanimous decision. All three judges had it 29-28 for Brunson, who was making his UFC debut after moving over from Strikeforce.

"I knew the type of fight I was getting myself into when I agreed to the bout," Brunson said. "Leben is an all-out slugger. I wanted to prove to myself that I could fight this guy and not just wrestle him for the victory. I wanted to go at it with him, but maintain my game plan and fight my fight.

Eddie Wineland vs. Brad Pickett

Eddie Wineland used hard punches and solid movement to cruise to a victory over Brad Pickett in an important bantamweight fight. 

Glenn Trowbridge and Tony Weeks both had it 30-27 for Wineland, but surprisingly, Mark Smith had it 29-28 for Pickett. Wineland did most of the damage and seemed in control of the fight throughout.

"That was a fun fight for me," Wineland said. "I'm used to being pretty banged up, but this isn't any worse than any of my previous fights. Brad hit me harder than anyone ever has, and I feel the same about how I hit him. My right hand seems to do the most damage, and it worked out well for me tonight. I go in there with confidence and after dropping my first two in the UFC, I've won two great fights since, and I plan to keep that momentum going."

Erik Perez vs. Byron Bloodworth

Erik Perez cracked Byron Bloodworth with a knee to the midsection, spelling the beginning of the end for Bloodworth in their bantamweight fight.

Perez, who came to the cage wearing a lucha libre mask, immediately pounced on Bloodworth. He landed a series of elbows and punches and forced referee Kim Winslow to stop it at 3:50 of the first.

It was the third consecutive first-round stoppage by Perez.

"It feels awesome to get my third UFC win in six months," Perez said. "It just makes me want to get back in the gym and keep training. It made me proud to hear all the Mexican fans and all the other UFC fans cheering for me when I walked out and then especially when I won. I would love to make a run at the title this year, but I am happy to do whatever the UFC asks for my next fight."

Jamie Varner vs. Melvin Guillard

Jamie Varner and Melvin Guillard were supposed to fight at "The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale" two weeks ago, but it was postponed because Varner was ill.

[Also: Melvin Guillard survives scary slam, still loses to Jamie Varner]

It was worth the wait, as they put on a fast-paced back-and-forth fight. The scoring turned out unique, as Varner pulled out a split decision win. Cecil Peoples and Smith had it 30-27 for Varner while Adalaide Byrd had it 30-27 for Guillard. Yahoo! Sports had it 29-28 for Varner.

"This was a very emotional fight for both of us," Varner said."After what happened a few weeks ago at The TUF Finale event, we were both ready to compete. I knew we would eventually get in the Octagon and squash our beef and I definitely feel that we did. I'm happy about my performance. I feel that I was able to dominate the fight wherever we ended up, and I'm glad I got the win."

Myles Jury vs. Michael Johnson

In a one-sided lightweight bout, Myles Jury ruined Michael Johnson's hopes for a perfect 2012, dominating him from start to finish and pulling out a one-sided unanimous decision victory.

Jury, who nearly finished Johnson in the first, took Johnson down and kept him there for much of the fight. He won by scores of 30-27 on all three judges' cards.

Jury landed a number of shots from the guard in the first and referee Herb Dean seemed on the verge of stepping in. Johnson survived, but he never got untracked.

Jury improved to 11-0 overall and 2-0 in the UFC with the impressive victory.

"I've sacrificed and trained hard for this fight, and it paid off," Jury said. "A lot of people didn't give me a chance against someone like Michael, so I came out here with nothing to lose. It felt great to get the win, but to also get so much time in the Octagon, which is something that I haven't gotten a lot of up to this point in my career. Everything about this fight is going to help me become a much better fighter overall."

Todd Duffee vs. Phil De Fries

Heavyweight Todd Duffee's first UFC fight in more than two years was somewhat reminiscent of his first, as he blitzed Phil De Fries and stopped him at 2:04 of the first round.

Duffee debuted in the UFC at UFC 102, knocking out Tim Hague in seven seconds in what was then a record for fastest knockout.

On Saturday, he caught De Fries with a big right uppercut that badly hurt him. He landed several right hands as they were fighting against the cage, and then finished it with a crushing left hook.

As De Fries slumped to the mat, referee Yves Lavigne jumped in to stop it.

"It feels good to be back in the UFC," Duffee said. "I knew I had to win, but I wasn't too worried about how, though. I like the actual fight aspect of this sport, so I know I can deliver when I'm in there. I missed the fight feeling that you get when you're standing across from your opponent, and it felt awesome to get back in the Octagon."

Leonard Garcia vs. Max Holloway

Leonard Garcia didn't disappoint in his return to the Octagon, putting on a good show in his three-round featherweight bout with Max Holloway.

Unfortunately for Garcia and many in the crowd at the MGM, the judges saw it for Holloway and he took a split decision. Marcos Rosales and Peoples had Holloway 29-28, while Smith had Garcia by the same score. The crowd booed when the verdict was announced, believing Garcia had done enough to get the win.

Rosales gave Holloway Rounds 1 and 2, while Peoples gave him Rounds 1 and 3. Smith gave Garcia Rounds 2 and 3.

There were long periods of sustained action, where the men stood and traded blows. Garcia had several takedowns, but Holloway was able to hop up. He said he felt that could have been a difference.

"I definitely believe I won the fight," Holloway said. "I'm tired of wrestlers getting victories that way. They get takedowns and do nothing with it, and somehow they still get points for that, so I feel very vindicated with this win. Leonard is a tough guy, though.

"No doubt about that. He hits hard and he shot in on me quite a bit in this fight, but we had a good game plan and I was able to leave with the win."

John Moraga vs. Chris Cariaso

Flyweight John Moraga got the night off to a good start, winning his second UFC fight in as many outings by finishing Chris Cariaso at 1:11 of the third round with a standing guillotine choke.

Moraga, now 12-1 in MMA and 2-0 in the UFC, got Cariaso as they came out of a scramble and managed to get the finish. He needed a big third round as the judges had it even on two cards and he trailed 20-18 on the third.

"That's one of my stronger positions to put my opponents in, so I knew I could surprise him with it and lock it in," Moraga said. "Any win in the UFC is good, but I like to win impressively and I feel like I kind of did that."

Predictions for 2013 from Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Y! TV: Former child stars back in the spotlight
Sean Payton agrees to five-year extension with Saints
Mike Dunleavy: Coaching Nets would be ‘a dream come true’
Huge flub on Brandon McCarthy’s driver’s license

view original article >>

Related News

  • 17 days ago

Will the fifteenth time be the charm? Alistair Overeem will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon when he faces Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 50, which is scheduled for Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Ledyard, Conn., on Sept. 5, 2014. Overeem -- who is now 100-percent healthy -- recently returned to the win column at UFC 169 with a decision win over Frank Mir after suffering back-to-back losses to Antonio Silva and Travis Browne in 2013. He'll look to make it two straight wins when he faces read news >>

  • 16 days ago

UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem is set to return to the Octagon on September 5th when he faces Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 50, but this time something will be different. While much of his more recent U.S. run was done as part of the Blackzilians camp, now Overeem returns to the cage as part (for now) as a student of the famed duo of Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While things clearly didn't work out Overeem in Florida with the Blackzilians, the former Strikefor read news >>

  • 15 days ago

UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem discusses his upcoming fight with Ben Rowthwell, and why he believes a fight with Junior dos Santos may be on the horizon. Ben Rothwell may be the lowest ranked heavyweight that Alistair Overeem has faced since he joined the UFC ranks, but after playing with fire one too many times, the Dutch kickboxer is not prepared to take any "265lb beast" lightly. The former Strikeforce heavyweight champion is scheduled to meet Rothwell at UFC Fight Night: Connecticut this c read news >>

  • 3 days ago

Admit it, the UFC heavyweight division just isn't the same without "Cigano" knocking people out every three months. We miss you! Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight titleholder Junior dos Santos is slowly but surely returning from the injury that knocked him from The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil 3" mixed martial arts (MMA) event earlier this year in Brazil. He stranded Stipe Miocic on FOX Sports 1, who went on to flatten Fabio Maldonado. The good news is, both fighters are read news >>

  • 16 days ago

Former Strikeforce and K-1 champion Alistair Overeem still wants a piece of former UFC heavyweight titleholder Junior dos Santos, even though his next opponent is already booked. The Reem briefly mentioned his desire to square off with the Brazilian power puncher when he appeared on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour, per Luke Thomas of MMA Fighting. "I'm focused and I want to really fight," Overeem said. "I'm very optimistic [a bout with dos Santos] is going to come and I want it to come. I could see read news >>

  • 8 days ago

Stipe Miocic still wants that fight with Junior dos Santos. The Cleveland-based heavyweight had what he thought was his potential breakthrough fight when he was scheduled to meet the former UFC heavyweight champion on May 31 in Brazil. But dos Santos had to pull out of the bout with a broken hand, and Miocic instead went on to record a fast knockout of Fabio Maldonado, who was coming up from light heavyweight on short notice. So with nothing else on his agenda at the moment, the 12-1 Miocic says read news >>

  • 3 days ago

Stipe Miocic still wants to fight Junior dos Santos, and that feeling is mutual. Former UFC champion "Cigano" hasn’t fought since his third bout with heavyweight kingpin Cain Velasquez in October, and the knockout artist told MMAFighting.com he’s hoping to face Miocic in his return to the Octagon later this year. "I saw this October card in Rio as a possibility," dos Santos said of the UFC 179 card scheduled for Oct. 25 in Rio de Janeiro, "but my coaches think it’s too soon to be back because I’ read news >>

  • 19 days ago

Fabricio Werdum will finally fight for the UFC title on Nov. 15, when he battles reigning champion Cain Velasquez at UFC 180 in Mexico City, and his head coach Rafael Cordeiro is confident that the jiu-jitsu specialist has what it takes to beat Velasquez standing or on the ground. "It’s going to be so cool," Cordeiro told MMAFighting.com. "Fabricio has been training for this moment for years. Ever since he moved to the United States seven years ago, he developed a great stand-up game. He has a h read news >>

  • 3 days ago

"Cigano" believes Overeem and Barnett called him out just to promote their names; says he's up to fight Stipe Miocic. Junior dos Santos, who was recently called out to fight Alistair Overeem and Josh Barnett, isn't interested in either of them for his next bout on the octagon. Interviewed by Tatame.com.br, 'Cigano' remembered that "The Reem" had his chance to make a fight between them happen and mentioned that the Dutch Heavyweight will face Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night: Mousasi vs. Souza, on read news >>