Cain Velasquez successfully defended his UFC heavyweight crown for a second time, defeating Junior Dos Santos by technical knockout in the fifth round at Saturday’s UFC 166 at the Toyota Center.
Velasquez became the 13th heavyweight champ to defend his crown twice while the Brazilian dropped the second fight of his UFC career -- both to the 31-year-old Mexican-American. Velasquez also picked up the record for total career strikes landed in UFC heavyweight history.
Velasquez is now 2-1 against Dos Santos, with the previous fights ending in a first-round knockout and a unanimous decision.
With the Houston crowd roaring throughout the bout, Velasquez and Dos Santos traded pummeling blows with neither really gaining a distinct advantage until the third round.
Dos Santos came out blazing in the first round, but the champion remained close and notched a takedown by throwing the challenger to canvas and smashing him with elbows.
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In the third, Velasquez landed a huge right hand that dropped Dos Santos, and referee Herb Dean looked like he was about to stop the fight, but Dos Santos managed to escape. From there, Velasquez kept up the pressure, never giving Dos Santos room to breathe.
Dos Santos nearly turned the fight around by applying a ninja choke in the fifth round, but Velasquez rolled out of it, popped up, and rained blows to the back of Dos Santos’s head before Dean signaled it was over.
According to UFC, Velasquez is now tied for third place with nine career knockouts at heavyweight, behind only legends Anderson Silva and Chuck Liddell.