Junior dos Santos tasted defeat for the second time in his professional MMA career during his UFC 155 rematch against Cain Velasquez.
It was Junior’s first loss under the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s banner, the type of loss that would have probably forced a lesser man to reevaluate his decision to earn a living fighting inside a cage. Velasquez (12-1-0, 10 KOs) controlled the vast majority of the bout, outworking dos Santos (16-2-0, 12 KOs) striking and grappling wise, dishing out a vicious beating.
Dos Santos’ mangled face after the bout accurately reflected what took place at UFC 155.
That wasn’t how things went down when the two first squared off at the main event of the inaugural UFC on Fox fight card back in 2011 though. Dos Santos was the one who shined that day, making quick work out of the then-undefeated Velasquez, winning via knockout 64 seconds into the contest.
Velasquez and dos Santos will now get to find out who the better man is once and for all when they meet inside the Octagon for the third time on Oct. 19. Of course, the heavyweight title will be on the line once again when the two headline the UFC 166 fight card at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Velasquez has been on a tear ever since he lost the heavyweight title to dos Santos at UFC on Fox, manhandling Antonio “BigFoot” Silva during his next outing, reclaiming his title from Junior at UFC 155, then handing Bigfoot another vicious beating in May.
Dos Santos rebounded from his dismal performance against Velasquez with a solid performance — and expanded striking arsenal, finishing his next opponent, Mark Hunt, with a beautiful spinning heel kick at UFC 160.
Junior says he’s made the necessary adjustments to deal with Cain’s aggression at UFC 166.
“I wanna become champion again. This is the one I want to face. I don’t think he’s the number one. He’s really good, but I think I am the number one,” dos Santos said during a pre-fight interview. “It would be amazing to knock him out again. It was good to be the first guy to beat him, it’s gonna be even better to beat him again. I can see things better now than I did before. When I hit people, they go down. He’s the guy that I wanna beat now. I’m gonna be very prepared for this one, I want to beat this guy bad.”