Junior Dos Santos proved once again that he is one of the toughest fighters in the world at UFC 166, enduring a horrific beatdown at the hands of the dominant Cain Velasquez. The fight took it’s toll on the faces of both warriors, but it seems that may just be the tip of the iceberg.
According to Cigano’s corner, the former Heavyweight champion has no memory of the fight after the second round. Many fans and pundits feel the fight should have been stopped after Cigano appeared to be out on his feet following a brutal barrage from CV.
His cornermen also said to Combate.com that JDS fought from that moment in the second, right through to the fifth ‘on autopilot’. It was clear that Dos Santos had taken a ton of punishment, but to not remember three rounds of fighting after a heavy head shot could be a sign of ill health.
Doctors examined Dos Santos after the fight and he was cleared to leave hospital the following morning. Ever the professional (and awesome guy), JDS remained positive after 166:
“I’m feeling good. I came to the hospital to have some stitches in the cut I had. The pain is only in the heart, because I didn’t manage to give a good performance in the Octagon,”
“Now it’s time to go back to the gym and train, dedicate myself to come back stronger than ever and, who knows, some day dispute the championship again and be able to honor the support from everybody who believed in me.”
This guy is a true warrior, in every sense. My only worry is that the size of his heart may end up being detrimental to his health. Being able to take such a brutal beating is not going to do him any favors.
Long term effects of such blows to the head are evident in many aging boxers, and with the sketchiness of some of MMA’s refereeing I wouldn’t like to imagine Dos Santos taking a few shots too much in a fight.
As things stand, I think he was knocked out in the second round at UFC 166. His corner believe that he was on autopilot until he was finished in round five; so essentially CV was hitting an ‘unconscious’ JDS for three rounds.
We’ve seen evidence of flash knockouts in the past, most famously when Fedor Emelianenko fought Dan Henderson. Referee John McCarthy was quoted as saying ‘As soon as a fighter is unconscious, the fight is over. I can’t tell if he will wake up one second later, or not. If you go out, the fight is over.’ Big John referring to the moment Hendo’s bomb put Fedor face down on the mat, forcing the ref to stop the fight to Fedor’s dismay.
It appeared at first that Fedor was ok, but on closer inspection; he was out. So my question is should the UFC 166 title fight have been stopped in round two? Many may argue that guys have come back from worse….but then again if you give everyone that opportunity, how long is it before we see the first high-profile in-cage death?