Velasquez and dos Santos Head to Head: Who will win in Anaheim?Posted on November 9, 2011, 01:14 AM by Trent Reinsmith
Cain Velasquez will defend his UFC Heavyweight title against Junior dos Santos on Saturday, November 12 when the UFC makes their debut on FOX. The title fight will be the only bout broadcast by FOX on Saturday night.
The official partnership between between the UFC and FOX will begin in 2012, but both sides will look to use this heavyweight title fight to drum up interest in the UFC. Lorezon Fertitta, CEO of the UFC had the following to say about the event, "It's a huge commercial. You have to let people sample the product. Once again, there's a lot of people out there that really haven't been exposed to the UFC, don't know guys like Cain Velasquez, how special he is; a guy like Junior Dos Santos. Once you watch them, you create new fans. We've already proven the model out, right? There was really a very, very niche fan base before Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar fought, and once they did, the sport exploded. We're looking for that same type of effect." - for more see USAToday
When the fighters enter the Octagon at Anaheim, CA's Honda Center on Saturday night they will have a combined record of 22-1, with dos Santos holding the only loss between them, a submission loss that took place outside of the UFC in 2007.
Velasquez has not fought since winning the title from Brock Lesnar on October 23 of last year. A shoulder injury sustained during that fight required surgery and a lengthy rehab. Dos Santos has fought twice since Velasquez became champion, recording the only two decision victories of his career in those fights.
Here’s a preview for one of the more anticipated fights and fight cards in the history of the UFC.
Junior dos Santos
Striking: 55-45 for Junior dos Santos
This is a tough call. Both fighters have shown that they are strong in their striking game. Velasquez may be the more well rounded striker, mixing things up a little more with kicks, but dos Santos’ boxing skills are better than the champs. If the two stand toe to toe and throw bungalows, I would say that dos Santos is the favorite.
It would not be a surprise to see Velasquez opt to not stand and bang with dos Santos, instead he may use his stand up striking to set up a takedown. From the top position on the ground he would become the clear favorite in the striking battle.
Clinch/Dirty Boxing: 55-45 for Junior dos Santos
Like the above, this one again favors the challenger due to his high level boxing skills. If he gets in close he can use those skills to hurt Velasquez, negating any advantage the champions more well rounded skill set may give him. Dos Santos has also shown an affinity for throwing knees while in the clinch, which is always an effective technique.
Wrestling: 80-20 for Cain Velasquez
Velasquez gets the nod on this one on the strength of his collegiate wrestling background. The champion was a highly ranked wrestler while attending Arizona State University and will look to use that experience to take dos Santos to the ground. Once on the ground the champion will be able to use his wrestling skill set to hold dos Santos down and tee off with a heavy ground and pound assault. The key for dos Santos is to negate that wrestling advantage, which is something that is easier said than done. Everyone knows Velasquez's wrestling background so the smart money says that dos Santos' camp spent a significant amount of time working takedown defense. If they did not, it could be a pianful night for dos Santos.
Submissions: 70-30 for Junior Dos Santos
Both fighters hold the rank of brown belt, Velasquez in Guerrilla jiu jitsu while dos Santos’ holds his in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Of the two fighters, dos Santos is the one with submission victories during his career; using an armbar to force Joaquim Ferreira to tap and using a guillotine choke to stop Eduardo Maiorino. Neither of those submissions took place in the UFC. Since arriving in the UFC neither fighter has really used their jiu jitsu skills in any significant manner so, this one is really the hardest to call. Their jiu jitsu skills, like some mythical beast, are allegedly there, but without seeing them, they are hard to believe in.
Further Reading: UFC stars talk UFC on FOX: Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos