Their first fight ended with a lighting-quick first-round knockout. Eleven months later, the second bout was a brutal, one-sided unanimous decision.
Those two electric fights have forced a decisive rubber match as Cain Velasquez puts his heavyweight title on the line against No. 1 contender Junior Dos Santos on Saturday night at the Toyota Center in Houston.
Dos Santos upset Velasquez in Nov. 2011, but the 31-year-old California native came back with a furious, dominant performance to take back the heavyweight crown. The pair has torn through their UFC careers, but has found their equal and could arguably extend one of the sport’s biggest rivalry no matter the outcome.
Other than Dos Santos, Velasquez notched two technical knockouts of Antonio Silva in the last year and half, the ninth and 10th of his five year UFC career. Dos Santos, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and boxer, took out American Mark Hunt with a spinning hook kick in the third round five months ago.
Both fighters began their pro careers back in 2006, with Velasquez blending Jiu-Jitsu training with his college wrestling, and Dos Santos focusing more on boxing. They both have gone 147 days between fights.
Continue Reading Below
"He's a tough dude," Velasquez said to ESPN about Dos Santos. "I'm ready for a tough fight. Whether it ends early or goes five hard rounds, I will be ready for whatever."
The main card starts at 10 p.m. Eastern Time, and you can order the pay-per-view event on UFC’s official site here. Their feed can be watched online or on television.
Tale Of The Tape
Weight: 241 lbs.
Reach: 77 in
Record: 12-1, 10 KOs
Junior Dos Santos
Weight: 240 lbs.
Reach: 77 in
Record: 16-2, 12 KOs
Prediction: The fight goes the full five rounds, with Dos Santos pulling out the decision.
Roy Nelson Vs. Daniel Cormier
Diego Sanchez Vs. Gilbert Melendez
Shawn Jordan Vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
Darrell Montague Vs. John Dodson