When UFC heavyweight Cain Velasquez put his divisional gold up for grabs against Junior dos Santos last November it seemed probable he would use his championship caliber wrestling to neutralize the hard-hitting Brazilian’s powerful punches. Instead, Velasquez opted to stand with “Cigano” for the opening minute of action instead of shooting in for a takedown, eating a particularly stiff strike sending him down to the canvas where he was pounded out shortly thereafter.
With a rematch on the horizon, Dos Santos is expecting Velasquez’s strategy to change based on the result of the first bout. As such, he’s been training a ton of BJJ in case he ends up on his backside. However, if Velasquez does decide to keep things standing, JDS is certain it will be the American Kickboxing Academy staple who is looking up at the lights.
“Cain Velasquez for sure will give me his best. I love to knock out people. I would love to do it again. He is pretty good on his feet, but, if he accepts to fight standing with me again he’s going to get knocked out again,” stated the confident Dos Santos to a group of media members in Los Angeles (including MMAFighting).
Still, with Velasquez likely approaching Dos Santos differently in their December duel, the 28-year old title-holder is expecting to fend off takedown attempts – a task he’s far more prepared for this time around for reasons other than the amount of time he’s put in at the gym.
“When I hurt my knee 10 days before the (first) fight, I was very worried. I’m not shy to say, but I cried. I was two days walking with crutches, and that was very tough for me. But then I started to do my physical therapy, and my knee came around again,” explained the now-healthy Dos Santos. “In this sport, you have to give 100 percent of you to have a good career. Sometimes you get hurt. When you are the champion, it is better for you to pull out of the fight. But at that time for me, I was the one challenging the champion. I was waiting for that chance for too much time. I couldn’t lose that chance.”
Dos Santos and Velasquez will lock horns on December 29 at UFC 155. The current champ will be looking for his tenth straight win in the Octagon at the event, while Velasquez finished Antonio Silva with strikes in his only bout since the stumble against Dos Santos.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC