UFC 155: Dos Santos vs Velasquez 2
A little over one year ago, the UFC made its heavily anticipated debut on FOX with what was supposed to be a heavyweight fight for the ages: undefeated champion Cain Velasquez versus top contender Junior Dos Santos. However, with the largest viewing audience of any live mixed martial arts event in US history watching closely, the fight was over in merely 64 seconds. Dos Santos toppled Velasquez with an overhand right, finished him off with some strikes on the ground, and became the new UFC heavyweight champion. Although the bout was won decisively, the abrupt nature of the bout’s conclusion has led many people to believe that these two heavyweight warriors have unfinished business inside the cage. On Saturday December 29th, Velasquez will have a chance to settle the score as he takes on Dos Santos in the main event of UFC 155 in an effort to gain back his UFC heavyweight title.
Several other exciting matchups will take place at UFC 155, including two pivotal lightweight scraps involving some of our top Gamma fighters. Gamma fighter Joe Lauzon takes on the durable Jim Miller in the co-main event of the evening, and Gamma fighter Jamie Varner squares off Melvin Guillard in a preliminary bout that airs on FX. Here are some of our picks for UFC 155:
Junior ”Cigano” Dos Santos vs Cain Velasquez: Many have faulted Velasquez for the strategy he used in their first bout, stating that he should’ve pressured forward in search of the early takedown rather than strike on the outside with Dos Santos. However, Velasquez was simply establishing his stand-up attack in order to set up a takedown attempt due to the stout takedown defense of his opponent. Additionally, Velasquez was dealing with a knee injury suffered during training that hindered his ability to shoot. Since their first fight, Dos Santos dominated Frank Mir and Velasquez stopped Antonio Silva in one of the most brutal, bloody beatdowns in UFC history (watch this beatdown here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGL5YRGAO_Q). Both of these fighters are so talented and either can defeat the other on any given night, but we are picking Velasquez to come out on top this time and reclaim his place atop the heavyweight division. He is extremely focused and motivated, and as long as he can avoid the big punches of Dos Santos he will use his takedowns and relentless pace to make this a dogfight. Dos Santos will tire and Velasquez will use his ground-and-pound to win by TKO in the later rounds of the fight.
Gamma fighter Joe Lauzon vs Jim Miller: Fight bonus connoisseur Lauzon is coming off a submission victory over fellow Gamma fighter Jamie Varner in one of the best fights of 2012. Miller is very well-rounded and notoriously tough to put away, but Lauzon is one of the best finishers in the fight game (all 22 of his victories have been finishes). As long as he can pace himself and avoid exhausting his gas tank early, Lauzon will get the win.
Gamma fighter Jamie Varner vs Melvin Guillard: Varner and Guillard were scheduled to meet two weeks ago at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale, but Varner fell ill after the weigh-ins and started “vomiting like the Exorcist”. Bad blood has ensued, and this fight figures to be a slugfest. Both fighters are good wrestlers with excellent striking skills and big knockout power, but Varner has the better chin. Look for Varner to keep his hands high and use his boxing en route to a knockout victory.
Yushin “Thunder” Okami vs Alan “The Talent” Belcher: Belcher made his UFC debut six years ago against Okami, losing a unanimous decision. Belcher is a completely different fighter at this point, and he is one of the most dangerous contenders in the middleweight division. Belcher will avenge his loss and leave the cage with his hand raised.