November 12, 2011
ANAHEIM - It's probably not what the UFC and Fox were looking for at the start of their partnership, but you can't control what happens in the Octagon.
Junior dos Santos landed a huge overhand right on the side Cain Velasquez's head, and the fight was over seconds later. Just like that in the promotion's debut on network television, it took JDS just 64 seconds to grab the UFC heavyweight title at the Honda Center.
"I have no words to say how I'm feeling. It's amazing, my life," said a very emotional dos Santos."I have a lot of good people around me."
A minute after the finish of the fight, Velasquez was walking around and had his senses about him. That's the downside of MMA. There is no 10 count. If you go down and the opponent pounds on you, the referee has to stop it.
Velasquez hit the deck and wasn't defending himself. Referee John McCarthy halted the fight after 12 more shots from dos Santos. Nos. 10 and 11 caused Velasquez to turn to his side, cover up and stop fighting back.
"He messed up my equilibrium. It was a good shot. He has good power," Velasquez said. "I waited too long to go after him."
During the lead-up to the fight, the very pro-Mexican crowd roared for Velasquez.
"I just want to say sorry to all the fans, my family and friends. I disappointed you," Velasquez said. "I will come back and I will get this belt back."
Velasquez (9-1, 7-1 UFC) was returning after a 13-month layoff to recover from a shoulder injury. He came into the fight five pounds heavier than any previous UFC fight. He's usually a ball of energy from the opening seconds of his fights, but tonight he was a little tentative.
This was your classic striker vs. grappler match-up. Velasquez has a solid stand-up game, but nowhere near the hand speed and power that dos Santos possesses. The longer it stayed standing, the better it was going to go for dos Santos. Velasquez attempted one takedown from long distance but came up empty.
The 27-year-old Brazilian is still unbeaten in the UFC. His title reign, if it lasts more than one fight, should be interesting. The depth in the big man division gets better each month.
Brock Lesnar, the former champ who lost to Velasquez last October, is coming back this December. He'll face former Strikeforce heavyweight king Alistair Overeem with the winner getting the next crack at the title.
Dos Santos (14-1, 9-0 UFC) has won seven of his nine UFC fighter with a finish.
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