UFC 166 Main Event Fight Preview: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos

America East Tournament PreviewPart 1 of the UFC 166 preview focused on the first four fights of the card. Now let’s look at the main event of the evening.

Cain Velasquez vs. Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos
Time: 11:30 PM ET

Odds courtesy of Bovada

Cain Velasquez is a very special type of heavyweight fighter who competes as a great pace and is potentially the most dominant fighter in the sport right now. His stats are impressive. Velasquez lands 6.33 strikes per minute while absorbing just 1.56 and he averages 6.49 takedowns per 15 minutes of fight.

Velasquez’s takedown defense is superb as well, with 88% of takedown attempts being deflected. Those stats should clarify at least why he is a pretty sizable favorite over Junior Dos Santos tonight.

The fighters have already faced twice. In the first matchup, Dos Santos knocked out Velasquez in the first round. In the second, Velasquez dominated Dos Santos over five rounds for a unanimous decision. Velasquez had 11 takedowns in that fight and had 118 significant strikes to Dos Santos’ 65.

Dos Santos has excellent takedown defense though, and he is tough to get on the ground in general, as he’s been taken down only twice excluding his fights against Velasquez. That’s especially impressive in the heavyweight class.

But that’s really the crux of this: Dos Santos is unequivocally the second best fighter in the heavyweight class, and that’s not good enough to take down the undisputed best. Velasquez could win this via knockout or decision, but it’s good certainty that he is able to win this fight one way or the other.

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