A mere 12 days away, Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos will once again enter the Octagon and bear arms against one another.
Their first encounter was a short, simple and sweet affair, and the exact opposite of their second. Where Cain beat Dos Santos for five rounds and in a devastating fashion, one that left “Cigano” battered and bloodied, Junior in his turn simply laid the Velasquez out cold.
As history becomes blurry with passage of time, the UFC has released Velasquez / Dos Santos I in an effort to stir the collective MMA conscience into remembering the facts of Cigano’s thunderous victory.
In review, it’s easy to focus on the big right that Junior delivered to Cain’s head at the :55 second mark of round one, and the ensuing victory it brought ten seconds later. However, nested within initial clashes of the bout could be a story that'll be told differently by both men on the 19th, of this month.
In the pioneering moments of the fight, Cain was has having great success with his low-kicks to Junior’s lead leg. If Junior can’t check Cain’s kicks in Houston, he’s probably not going to fare well in the fight. This is a tactic that Velasquez is free to use, because Junior stands little chance of catching a leg and scoring any meaningful takedowns with it. Cain should aggresively use those kicks to weaken Junior’s lead leg and diminish his striking power, all while staying to the outside of Cigano’s wheelhouse.
For his part and as Joe Rogan commented during the fight, Dos Santos has far more tools than he uses. In short, Cigano is in love with his hands and he needs to put that aside and in favor of employing his entire arsenal. He needs to make this a kickboxing match, not a boxing one, because that’s not the fight Velasquez will be bringing.