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Velasquez Versus Dos Santos III: The End of an Era?

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | The trilogy fight at UFC 166 started out like the first one, with Junior dos Santos showing his punching power. From that point on, it was a continuation of the second bout, with Cain Velasquez controlling dos Santos before eventually stopping his battered opponent in the fifth round.

Dos Santos has run through the other top heavyweights in the world and looked a cut above the competition. In the last two fights of their trilogy, Velasquez has looked a cut above him.

There was speculation going into the third bout, which I wrote about, that a second dominant win by Velasquez could mean UFC 166 was the final time these two will meet. While dos Santos had moments of success in the last two fights, they were too far and few between for the UFC to sell a rematch anytime soon.

Velasquez is a made man in the UFC after two wins over dos Santos. He will continue to draw solid numbers, even against inferior competition. His title defense against the highly over matched Antonio Silva did nearly 400,000 buys, which is a testament to his drawing power. He's also a pivotal piece in the UFCs expansion into the Hispanic market.

The UFC, and matchmaker Joe Silva, will continue to find credible competition for the champ. However, there is no immediate contender that fans will see as a legitimate threat.

"Cigano" should rebound strongly, and emerge as a future contender. However, in order for him to be anything more than just another opponent for Velasquez he needs to refine his game. As it stands now, he lacks the clinch game and stamina to stand any chance except a quick knockout or lucky punch.

The Cain Velasquez era began with the domination in the second fight; at UFC 166 he put a stamp on it. Dos Santos is now another heavyweight playing catch up.

Joe Napoli has been following MMA since the dark ages.

Twitter: @JoeJNapoli LinkedIN: Profile

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