5 Reasons Why Cain Velasquez Beat Junior Dos Santos at UFC 155
Cain Velasquez Basks in his Victory
“Oh how the mighty have fallen.”
I am really trying not to be derogative towards Junior Dos Santos in any way with that phrase. I am only emphasizing the fittingness of that phrase in relation to what happened to Dos Santos at UFC 155. Dos Santos, physically, is a man of might and in the fight he had fallen in so many ways. You didn’t need to see that fight, to figure how it played out. All you had to do was take a look at Dos Santos’s battered, swollen and beaten face, to know the begging, middle and end. It was not the best headlining fight of 2012. It was far from the best. Dos Santos was several steps behind Cain Velasquez the whole time and he paid for it, with his title and blood.
I believe much more went wrong for Dos Santos than things went right for Velasquez. Still, I give much credit to both men. Credit is due for Velasquez for being on point, by being the dominant aggressor. Credit is due for Dos Santos, for having an extraordinary amount of heart to endure such a beating.
There are a number of reasons why Velasquez won, but for the sake of this article, I will only list five. I believe these were the five most crucial reasons why Velasquez won. However, I strongly implore all of you to offer your input as well in the comment section below. Or if you like, you can hit me up on Twitter at Ben Leven @Twitter.
Thank you and enjoy my top five reasons why Cain Velasquez beat Junior Dos Santos.
Velasquez’ Superior Grappling and Cardio
Velasquez is one of the more frightening grapplers in the UFC and he has the stamina of a horse. Yet I do have to say his technique was looking more sluggish than usual in this fight. Regardless, he got the job done and his superior grappling, was one of the most critical elements that led Velasquez to victory. Why do I say this? Even though, I felt Velasquez’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wasn’t put together, his numerous take downs drained Dos Santos.
It takes a good amount of energy to take a man down; however, it takes more energy to get back up. Thanks to Velasquez’s superior cardio, he was able to continuously put Dos Santos’s back on the canvas. Every time Dos Santos kept getting back up, it sapped his energy, which ultimately led to him becoming increasingly weaker and weaker. By the time Dos Santos got back to his feet, he was already dead in the water, making him susceptible to either more takedowns or face and body shots.
Velasquez’ First Round Knock Down
Early on in the fight, Velasquez kept pushing and pushing for a takedown. Initially it did not work. Dos Santos was showing good take down defense and his pace was still pretty good. Velasquez changed it up a bit, by throwing his hands and it turned into a boxing game. Both men were doing a good job avoiding each other’s blows and displaying tremendous speed for their behemoth like statures.
With roughly 1:20 left in the first round, Velasquez landed a devastating right, knocking Dos Santos to the canvas. From there, Velasquez piled on top of Dos Santos and landed a number of solid head shots. From that point on, things did not favor well for Dos Santos, for the remainder of the fight. That solid right hand had greatly weakened Dos Santos. It was at this point, where you could really see things fall apart for Dos Santos and it was at this point, where Velasquez could drive full force at Dos Santos.
Dos Santos Kept His Hands Down
When I saw Dos Santos keeping his hands down, it was a painful reflection of my own bad habits when I fight. I have been working on keeping my hands up in fights and for whatever reason, Dos Santos kept his hands down a majority of the fight and I kept asking why? Velasquez landed shot after shot, as evident by Dos Santos swollen and bruised face, at the end of the match. Velasquez hits hard, hard enough to knock a big man like Dos Santos to the ground, in the first round.
How Dos Santos managed not to not get KO’d all together is beyond me. Keeping your hands up is the most fundamental thing in fighting. It’s not as though we were built with football helmets in our heads, for protection, so the best any fighter can do, to defend himself, is keep his hands up. Dos Santos’s hands were down a majority of the time; his trainer was criticizing him for it, in between rounds. I think, had Dos Santos at least made the effort of keep his guard up, it would’ve greatly made all the difference in the world.
Dos Santos Kept Looking for the KO
Dos Santos has a punch as devastating as an FIM-92 Stinger, but in this rematch he was lacking aim and power. Dos Santos put too much effort, looking to repeat the results of the first time he faced Velasquez. When Dos Santos and Velasquez first met at UFC on FOX, it ended with the knockout punch seen and heard all around the world. However, this time around, history did not repeat itself. Unfortunately for Dos Santos, Velasquez learns from his mistakes and turned it into a wrestling match. When Dos Santos realized knocking Velasquez out, wasn’t going to work, he should’ve tried to match points.
Dos Santos did almost nothing to match points with Velasquez, but in all likeliness, was due to in part to his depleted energy. Dos Santos is extremely durable, so the best way to beat him is by points or submission. Velasquez is a very methodical fighter and approached the fight with a point scoring strategy. Dos Santos’s was going for an early KO.
Velasquez Kept the Pressure On
Some fights, the pressures are distributed equally amongst fighters, going back and forth, the mark of an even fight. With Dos Santos and Velasquez, that was not the case. Thanks to Velasquez’s efficient cardio, he was always in control of the pressure. Dos Santos was incredibly overwhelmed and exhausted, unable to utilize enough energy to put the pressure on Velasquez. This fight was a pistol duel; Velasquez seized the opportunity, fired first and slowly but consistently took Dos Santos apart. Dos Santos was dead on his feet and did his best to defend, but not enough to pressure Velasquez.