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UFC 166 Preview: Cain Velasquez Vs. Junior Dos Santos

While it would’ve been fun to preview the key matches on the main card of UFC 166, I was much more interested in what people thought about the third fight between Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos.

Thus, I reached out to Heidi Fang from MMA Fight Corner, Alex Goff from Online World Of Wrestling, and John LaRocca, president and owner of Premier Wrestling.

In addition, the FGB crew including Duan, Big D, and myself add our thoughts.

UFC 166 Preview: Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos

Heidi: Velasquez by decision
Currently, it’s the biggest trilogy in the UFC. Not just in size, but also because it’s one of few times in any trilogy in the promotion’s history where every fight has been for a title. We know both men are capable of crushing the other’s hopes of being the champion. For the third and final chapter for now, I’m taking Cain Velasquez to retain the title. If he can avoid the big shots Junior dos Santos will dish out early, I see no reason the game plan he deployed in their second fight won’t work again. His wrestling pedigree and heavy hands should continue to pave the way for another successful title defense.

Alex: Velasquez by 3rd round TKO
The two best heavyweight mixed martial artists in their prime are facing each other in an epic third battle this Saturday night at UFC 166. That sentence I think will resonate five years from now, but unfortunately, this show is placed before two historically important shows – the 20th Anniversary show and Anderson Silva’s first fight as a challenger since 2006 – and isn’t getting the attention it deserves. Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos are able to make each other look mortal when no other man seemingly can.

I hate to say it but, I think that Cain Velasquez is ending the rivalry Saturday night. When Junior was dominated for five rounds, he seemingly did everything in his power to explain why it happened. Cain was knocked out by one of Junior’s punches, and then he got really mad, and then proceeded to dominate Junior in the rematch. Cain has the mental edge and his ability to dictate the location of the fight will make the difference. Cain has also been training with currently the best heavyweight grappler in the world, Marcus Almeida so my prediction is a 3rd round stoppage from strikes.

John: Velasquez by 2nd round TKO
I am sure JDS is in the best shape of his life and has adjusted his training, but I see Cain Velasquez finishing JDS in round 2 by TKO. Of all the MMA fighters I have seen, Cain is probably the most focused and goes after what he wants. Even though Cain clearly dominated JDS for all five rounds and won back his UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 155, he was not satisfied with that win. Cain is a finisher and at 155 he did not finish JDS. My belief is Cain will stop at nothing to get that finish victory over JDS. I see JDS taking punishment in round 1, but surviving. Finally, in round 2, Cain will get the TKO victory by ground and pound.

Duan: Velasquez by decision
Cain has the game plan to shut Junior down, so it’s on Junior now to change something up or we’re just going to see the same thing play out again. I expect him to come out with more urgency this time, trying to get his hands off early, look to stay on the move and maintain the distance. I think it will cause Velasquez some problems initially, and it will give JDS a small window to get that big shot off that ends it. The longer it goes though, the more I see it falling back into the same pattern from their second fight. Cain will close him down, wear him down and disarm him. My feeling is if it makes it to the second, it will be because Velasquez has neutralized that threat.

Big D: Velasquez by decision
I like both guys. JDS can hit better. Cain can grapple better. We all know this. You would THINK that JDS has better submission game based on his camp and the people he trains with, but maybe Cain’s submission defense is good enough to avoid any sort of tap. Man… I don’t know. This is the third meeting between these guys and I do believe that this trilogy is going to go down as a historic one for UFC – right next to Couture/Liddell and Tito/Ken.

GG: Velasquez by decision
I think Dos Santos has to go for an early kill, much like the first fight, or else, he’ll just get worn down like the second fight. I do wonder if Cain engages early to try for the stoppage since he didn’t get it in the second fight. My guess is that he’s going to fight more smartly than that, pick his spots, and not rush anything. While I can definitely see Dos Santos getting the early knockout, I think the likelier outcome is a Velasquez decision. While I’m going with Cain, if Dos Santos can land early and heavy, we are going to have a war.

I’m not surprised that most of us think Velasquez is going to win, though I’m really surprised that no one chose Dos Santos to win the fight, which I think says more about what we think of Cain than anything else.

We’ll have live play by play of the main card on Saturday.
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