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Cain Velasquez batters 2-to-1 favorite Junior dos Santos to win UFC Heavyweight title

By Zach Arnold | December 29, 2012

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Event: UFC 155 (12/29 MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada)

Event: UFC on Fox 5 (12/8 Key Arena in Seattle, Washington)
TV: Fox over-the-air (broadcast)

Event: UFC on FX 6 (12/14 Gold Coast Convention Centre in Queensland, Australia)

Event: The Ultimate Fighter 16 finale (12/15 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada)

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 68 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

68 Responses to “Cain Velasquez batters 2-to-1 favorite Junior dos Santos to win UFC Heavyweight title”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    UFC on FOX 5 – This is exactly what I expect for a free FOX Show. A Title fight that wouldn’t sell on PPV, and a few good co-main events.

    UFC on FX 6 – Nothing great on this card at all. Should have really be combined with the TUF Finale card….

    TUF 16 Finale – Once again, nothing great on this card. Would have been much better if they combined the two cards to make it much stronger. I am a Matt Mitrione fan so I am looking forward to themain event.

    UFC 155 – A very good PPV quality card. No complaints.

  2. Jay B. says:

    UFC on Fox 6 sucks. Plain and simple… It shouldnt even exist.

  3. Mike Lewis says:

    UFC on FX6 is also the finale of the team australia vs team uk I think.

    I cant see what there is to complain about on that card

  4. Jonathan says:

    Don’t you mean “Lightweight” instead of “Light Heavyweight” title fight?

    Unless Diaz and Henderson put on some real weight really fast.

  5. szappan says:

    I beg to differ on Fox 6, I’m somewhat interested in Lombard vs Palhares. Both guys know they need to impress.

  6. david m says:

    UFC on Fox 5 is the best card they have had in years, on ppv or free. BJ Penn vs Rory is the 3rd fight, for Christ’s sake

  7. The Judge says:

    The first two cards are solid. A significant upturn from the recent all-main event PPVs. Even the FX card has at least one guy I know in nearly all bouts.
    TUF Finale is a joke. And a not funny one. Mitrione vs Nelson makes me wish for the high-skill days of Kimbo Slice. Guillard vs Varner–again, UFC is booking guys who will put on an impressive looking show rather than top fighters.
    The UFC 155 I am really looking forward to. While Cain has not earned a rematch, this will be a fight between two top heavyweights.
    And Davis should kill Griffin, if he realizes it.

  8. […] of the video is about Matt Mitrione vs. Roy Nelson, which happens to be a more interesting match for UFC’s big December slate of cards than Roy Nelson vs. Shane Carwin. Few fans cared about either guy on The Ultimate Fighter and even […]

  9. Jonathan says:

    this is my first mma show in a long time. I just watched the Penn/McDonald fight. I was sickened by how much McDonald show boated against a legend like Penn. It was pathetic to see. I don’t care how well he actually fights. It was pathetic and he has no right.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      So because Penn is a “legend” nobody is aloud to showboat against him?

      Rory showed him the door to retirement and can do whatever he wants in the octagon. He was not disrespectful in any way. just building confidence.

      • Jonathan says:

        Geeze 45, I was just thinking about when you and I would get in epic wars on this site.

        Man how the times have changed.

        Now I don’t think either cares that much or enough.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Yeah my interest is way down. This is the only MMA Website I post on, and it has been like that for a while.

          I wouldn’t miss a free fight card like the one tonight. I was really solid.

          But I’m even debating ordering the JDS/Velasquez 2 PPV. Not a big fan of either of them, and there isn’t really a fight on there that has me overly interested.

    • Steve4192 says:

      Has no right?


      1. Penn made this personal by repeatedly calling Rory and his whole camp steroid abusers without a lick of evidence. I can’t blame Rory for wanting to show him up a little bit after all the venom Penn spewed in the pre-fight buildup.

      2. Penn isn’t above showboating himself, what with all the blood licking and kissing of vanquished opponents. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander as far as I am concerned. Penn has made a career out of showing up his opponents. Last night was his karmic payback.

      • Robert Poole says:

        Penn calling Rory a steroid user like him calling GSP a greaser and god knows how many times he has been disrespectful to other fighters in the past. He also whines every time he loses. He’s the absolute opposite of class and frankly deserved a taste of his own medicine.

    • fightopinionReader says:

      The showboating was in slightly bad taste, but I thought McDonald intentionally let up a little bit to avoid knocking out and humiliating Penn.

  10. 45 Huddle says:

    Imagine if the UFC put on a FOX show like that once a month…. And then where they would be in terms of popularity 5 years from now….

    Diaz Brothers 0-2 in title fights in 2012. It was a good year.

    • Steve4192 says:

      If you are so happy to see the Diaz boys lose title fights, why are you so upset to see Nick get another shot at WW gold? You know GSP is to whoop that ass.

  11. RST says:

    Decent card.

    Seeing Swick back to his old self was nice.
    And watching bj get beat up was fun.
    Shame we wont see MacDonald/Diaz.

    Nate is as okay as ever.
    Bendo is hardworking and legit.

    Cool to see Nate immediately drop the act at the final bell.
    The Diaz boys are annoying, but they’re alright.

    Gustaffson is still great.
    Shame (as usual) about Rua’s conditioning.

    Gustaffsonn/Jones is the fight to make at 205.

    Has been since he beat silva so there wasn’t any reason to put Rua in his way or wait around for emperor dana to get his way with Jones/sonnen.

    Shame that the ufc’s matchmaking and title shots are twitter and spite based instead of on logic or merit.

    But on the other hand it also makes it easier to not have to buy PPV’s when the free cards are better then the pricey ones.

    • Chromium says:

      <blockquoteSeeing Swick back to his old self was nice.

      Dude that’s just mean.

      • RST says:

        I wasn’t trying to be mean at all.

        I’m a huge (read boner) Swick fan!

        But I missed the first part of the show.
        Caught it at the tail end of Penn/MacDonald and read a false result on that said that Swick KO’d Stephens in the second.

        I meant “good to see’ like good to see that someone survived cancer.

        I hadn’t actually seen it.

        My bad.

        Now that thats been cleared up,
        not as good for Swick.

        But still good for Brown.
        I’ve heard that he’s a mack and deserves it.

  12. The Gaijin says:

    Zomg! What a fight – Paq is done. Hat’s off to JMM what a war.

    Paq has been reminding me way too much of the start of Rocky III. This was the first of the 4 I have laid money on JMM…I didn’t want to, but writing was on the wall. This may be the only way PBF actually fights him, but he’d nuke this version of Manny.

    Question is who does JMM fight next?

    • Zach Arnold says:,0,1551175.column

      Two interesting items —

      1) JMM/Pacquiao 5 is likely.

      2) Kizer avoided another disaster with the score cards. Manny was up on all 3 of them when he got KO’d.

      • Chuck says:

        Pac was legitimately winning the fight by a tiny margin. He won the first two rounds pretty easily. Absolutely spectacular KO. Good for JMM. Anyone else notice Jim Lampley getting teary-eyed when talking about JMM at the end of the broadcast? You could tell Lampley was legitimately happy about JMM winning the fight and getting the respect he deserved.

        Funny that Larry Merchant was insinuating that Marquez juiced for the fight, and that Pac may have juiced in the past, and my anti-spam word is juiced.

        • Robert Poole says:

          I don’t think he avoided any disaster. Aside from the knockdown round, Manny had won enough rounds to be ahead, had gotten a 10-8 from a knockdown of his own and up until the knockout won round 6. He had taken back control of the fight.

      • edub says:

        There would have been no disaster. Manny was legitimately winning the fight.

        It’s funny how Gaij points out Rocky 3, as I believe the last one was brought into play for Marquez. “He can’t win on the score cards, so what’s he do, builds some hurtin’ bombs!”

        Won’t be surprised if JMM’s levels are out of whack BTW.

      • The Gaijin says:

        I actually thought Manny was “ahead” re. scoring, but he was looking very hittable (more than usual, and more than his new style typically made him) and actually looked like he was feeling the punches.

        Also the knockdown he had vs. the knockdown JMM had were like night and day. JMM floored him and Pac just kinda caught him off-balance and wobbled him.

        I just don’t see a Pac like the one Saturday night who is going to be able to be reached, and following two brutal floorings (the last a total KO) remaining among the very elite. And I don’t think he’s going to stick around for a retirement tour fighting over the hill guys either…time to stop being a part-time fighter.

  13. Jonathan says:

    Wasn’t the consensus that JMM was juiced for this fight, since he is at the end of his career already? I saw from several sources that he had more bulk and was more ripped for his fight.

  14. david m says:

    I thought JMM was definitely on the juice–I would imagine he won’t test hot though, because designer steroids have gotten harder and harder to find, and JMM has money to buy the best. He had trapezoids I have never seen before, and generally you don’t get bigger at 39.

    The UFC fights taught me that athleticism and size are more important in mma than they have ever been. BJ Penn has lost a lot of speed, and has no business at 170. He fought gamely, took Rory halfway down a few times (I don’t know why he didn’t try harder for a takedown), blocked most of Rory’s takedowns, and landed some shots on the feet. However, he generally got crushed. Rory looked 2 weight classes above him, AND much more athletic. Rory’s striking looked much improved as well. I am not sure how that kid even makes 170; if he beats Condit and GSP beats Diaz, there will be a lot of noise for a fight between those two–it seems exactly like Rashad/JJ situation, except GSP is much better (and more liked/bigger star) than Rashad ever was, and Rory isn’t as good as JJ.

    I always think Nate Diaz is good like his brother, but he isn’t. His punching looks terrible; he is always off-balance and is severely lacking in strength and athleticism. Ben was able to ankle-kick his way to taking Nate out of his striking game, and basically just outstrengthed/outscrambled him. Nate needs to see JMM’s nutritionist.

    Mike Swick either should go back to 185 or retire IMO; he looked absolutely horrid–the weight cut has left him devoid of strength and speed and power.

    Gustaffson is a very good fighter; Shogun landed some hard shots but the Swede has a nice beard (as does Rory, I should mention). I don’t think he could beat JJ, but he presents some challenges.

    • edub says:

      I don’t know if you’ve followed Swicks career that closely, but he basically has an illness/disease that doesn’t let him keep on weight (muscle specifically). He was under the limit during the fight with Okami last time out, and he’s not really cutting much right now to make 170. It’s made him a shell of his former self.

  15. Richard says:

    Looks like karma’s being an evil bitch to Jeremy Stephens.

  16. Zach Arnold says:

    Nonito Donaire got his win over Jorge Arce by KO in R3 (Houston) and Amir Khan beat up on Carlos Molina after the fight was stopped by Molina’s corner.

    • Fluyid says:

      Interesting to see the son of the executive director of Texas Combative Sports reffing the Donaire fight and the brother of the assistant boxing administrator for Texas Combative Sports judging it.

      • Tomer says:

        Lawrence Coles refs pretty much any fight of note in Texas and has for a good number of years. I still remember when he let Antonio Margarito get his eye destroyed against Manny Pacquiao a few years back.

  17. David M says:

    I don’t think Cain will make it to the third round before getting knocked out.

    J2S is a big hitter but let’s not forget how weak Cain’s chin is. Roy and Carwin took J2S’ shots for 3 rounds; they were dominated but survived. Cain can’t train his chin, so I have no idea how he survives

  18. RST says:

    Well that was for the best IMO.

    Now Dos can go to the “back of the line”.
    (He wont have to go that far.)

    And then we’ll get a really great part 3,
    probably sooner then later.

    Gee whiz Dos just wont stay down will he!
    And a smart thing too, the damage would have been worse.

    But just imagine that as great as Dos is already,
    this is just going to make him even better.

    Just like it did for Cain.

    Really looking forward to what the both of them do next.

    • Jay B. says:

      Dont know about that, he should get a rematch right after Reem faces CV. Really next contender or should be at least.

      • RST says:

        You might be right.

        And thats whats wrong with twitter mma.

        That chael sonnen or Reem in any way deserves title shots,
        or that Dos deserves an immediate rematch after 50-43 shutout.

        At the very least Reem should fight Bigfoot, Struve, Dos or Nog next.
        And Dos should fight Verdum, Reem and/or whoever beats Reem.

        But whatever.
        Sports entertainment is as sports entertainment does.
        I just watch single fights that interest me these days.

        • RST says:

          seems Reem is penciled in for Bigfoot next.
          (Shows how much attention I’ve been paying.)

          That makes much more sense.

          (In between riding the short bus joel slips in a few reasonable matchups. Which can be generously described as better then all short bus all the time.)

          If Reem wins give him his twitter title shot.
          If Bigfoot wins give him one more and then promote a rematch with cv if he wins that.

          Dos has cleared out quite a few guys.
          But the fact is that he just lost convincingly.

          He should fight someone, ANYONE a few times before another shot.

          Hunt, Johnson, Rothwell, Verdum are all coming off wins.

        • AfroSamurai says:

          Cain Vs Reem
          JDS vs. Josh Barnett
          DC vs Mir

          Simple as that

  19. 45 Huddle says:

    The first UFC Heavyweight Title Fight to go the distance since Couture/Sylvia in March 2007.

    Cain is a beast. But he is a Heavyweight, and no UFC Heavyweight has ever won more then 3 title fights in a row. Until that changes, I won’t get my hopes up on a dominant champion.

  20. Nepal says:

    Why Dos Santos never went for more knees in the clinch, I’ll know. Overeem will not make that mistake. If Cain attempts takedowns like that, Overeem will ko him. That is of course if Overeem doesn’t wilt from Cain’s striking.

  21. Nepal says:

    I’ll never know.

  22. david m says:

    Junior has nobody to blame but himself. He was doing well avoiding takedowns and countering, but he thought Cain couldn’t hurt him and got lazy on defense. The punch that dropped (and clearly concussed) him landed because Junior simply made no attempt to put his hands up. I doubt he remembers anything after that round; he survived on pure guts and had no legs whatsoever. I can’t wait for the third fight!

    Cain, btw, once again displayed the cardio that has made him a gym legend. I think his next fight should be against Reem, and then J2S will get winner, who I imagine will be Cain. I have no idea who else is legitimately in the title picture.

    On a different note, Jim Miller looked way better/faster than he ever has…i wonder if he added strength training to his routine? That was one of the craziest fights I have ever seen.

    btw, this card was a perfect reminder of how watered-down UFC ppvs have become. They use so many good fights for their tv shows, that their real money maker, PPV, is suffering. This was a terrible card until the last 2 fights; why Derek Brunson and Yushin Okami are fighting on the PAY portion of a show, I will never know. Two incredibly boring fighters who make for awful viewing. Vitor, Bisping, Rampage, Glover, etc are all being missed on these PPV events. Dana McMahon needs to stop fucking around and placing more emphasis on tv ratings than ppv buys.

    • RST says:

      “…but he thought Cain couldn’t hurt him and got lazy on defense…”

      I think he got over-confident.

      The bragging and passive insults he was releasing into the press recently seemed a little out of character for him IMO, which could have been nervousness or over-confidence.

      It seems like it was probably the latter.

      Which you could imagine would be easy to happen after as much success as he’s had and already having beaten Cain easily.

      But it was still a mistake.

      He didn’t seem prepared for a war.
      He was in good enough shape as usual to survive,
      but didn’t look prepared to go full throttle for 25 minutes if he had to.

      He came in expecting another quick one.

    • AfroSamurai says:

      Completely agree although I think JDS needs to diversify his training and take it more seriously adding in some better wrestling partners. Everybody in Brazil esp strikers should have taken notice when Anderson V Chael 1 happened.

      Reem v. Cain sound great to me. Barnett would be a good come back fight for JDS. Wrestling, veteran, and should keep him busy/prep him for Cain rematch.

      • RST says:

        “…adding in some better wrestling partners.”

        Murika pretty much has the monopoly on top shelf wrestling.

        There are some decent Braz wrestlers like Bab,
        but murikan wrestling is a different world.

        Thats always going to be the hamstring for fighters who dont train in the murika.

  23. ChrisC says:

    You do know Maynard, Weidman and Forrest/Davis were set for this card but got injured.

    Also Brunson was a late replacement.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Based on Sherdog’s current rankings, UFC 155 had EIGHT Top 10 fighters.

      And the event lost Phil Davis & Chris Weidman. So it was originally scheduled for TEN Top 10 fighters. Gray Maynard was also scheduled, but he was replaced by Jim Miller…. Both being Top 10.

      Plus the main event was the consensus #1 vs. #2 Heavyweights in the world.

      There are a lot of UFC events that can be bashed. And a lot of them that can be used to show the watered down UFC format. This card is not one of them.

    • RST says:

      “You do know Maynard, Weidman and Forrest/Davis were set for this card but got injured.”

      Have you ever seen how DanaJoe treats a shlub who loses a fight unprepared on short notice?!

      You’d be better off playing hookie.

  24. The Judge says:

    Until the last two fights, Varner and Story’s victories not withstanding, this card was a reminder I hate MMA. Three slow rounds of boxing that was more swing and less hit. Then Lauzon and Miller came in and saved the show. And while Cain dominated Dos Santos, I think a much more solid case could be made for Fight 3 than there was for Fight 2–because now the challenger (DS) has proven he can beat the champion and there is a question of which way the fight would go. Plus, there is Overeem, Verdum, Cormier. The heavyweight divsion is looking good.

  25. MMA Genius says:

    Rankings are great, but if you want to talk business… the casual fan doesn’t give a crap about any of these guys except the main event. Chris Leben was probably the third biggest name for Christ sake. The year-end show is supposed to be a super show.

  26. Megatherium says:

    Dana actually apologized to Joe Silva for pushing the Brunson/Leben snoozefest onto the main card at the last minute over Silva’s warning that it was going to suck. He thought that Brunson and Okami really took the wind out of the sails of the event and put it on himself.

    And he was correct.

    • Nepal says:

      Actually I think it was Rogan that said that to Dana, not Joe.

      Dana’s strategy is as per usual. He put a very big name-fight highlighting the event to get the PPV buys and then put not a single important fight on the card. Saying they had 8 top 10 ranked fighters means nothing when the non hard cores haven’t heard of most of them. Plus the rankings mean nothing anyway and have little basis in reality…. that’s just the nature of this artificial thing we call ‘rankings’.

      Honestly, for me there were 5 or 6 fights that I was looking forward to seeing so for me it was a good card. But that’s only because I watch every event and know virtually all the fighters. I have no complaints about the card. Was it set up to be a great event for the non hard cores? No, it was a money maker. Was it a good card on paper? Yes and except for the Okami and Leban fights, it delivered.

    • RST says:

      “Dana actually apologized to Joe Silva…”

      How do you spell disingenuous?

  27. RST says:

    “I was too worried about his takedowns and didn’t protect my face…” said Junior dos Santos. “When the fight was on the ground, I should have used my jiu-jitsu more.””


    Moral of the story,
    you got your ass kicked.

    (Braz’s know their way around an excuse like Jiu Jitsu.)

  28. david m says:

    Can anyone tell me why Jamie Varner vs Guillard wasn’t on the ppv portion and Okami (Captain Boring) was? Seriously, Okami is the least entertaining, least charismatic fighter in all of mma. I don’t care what he is ranked, don’t put him on pay per view. Nobody would ever pay to view him.

    • edub says:

      They were pushing Belcher. Probably thought he would look good here.

      Dana also admitted it was a mistake to keep that fight off for Leben-Brunson.

  29. RST says:

    Hunt/Struve is more dumb matchmaking out of joel.

    And this is exactly what he does a lot.

    He’s using 2 halves of marketable fights,
    Hunt as a fan fave slugger and Struve as a legitimately rounded future contender, on one mid card fight that has nothing to offer either of their promotional value or careers.

    Watching hunt’s susceptibility to subs again doesn’t get your monies worth out of Hunts attributes,
    while also drooping his value for future fights for no good reason.

    And watching Struve sub Hunt does nothing to further his claim towards an eventual title shot.

    I think dana’s wonky balance must be contagious,
    or maybe he caught it from joel.


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