This Saturday night, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will make its FOX network television debut with Cain Velasquez (9-0, 7-0 UFC) putting his heavyweight title on the line against the challenger, Junior Dos Santos (13-1, 7-0 UFC). It’s going to be a great night for fight fans as this event will finish an hour before Manny Pacquiao is set to square off against Juan Manuel Marquez.
It’s hard to imagine a more perfect match-up for the first fight in the historic, seven-year partnership between FOX and the UFC, as these are two very special fighters entering the primes of their careers. I will break the action down in terms of each fighters’ strengths, the unknowns heading into the fight and the match-up, specific to one another. Finally, I will predict a winner.
Velasquez has made a name for himself through his world-class wrestling ability, his other-worldly work ethic and cardio, and a developing, technically-sound kickboxing game. He is well above-average in his quickness wrestling and an above-average athlete for a heavyweight. He has finished eight out of the nine fights in his career through ground and pound and striking.
Velasquez was a two-time All-American wrestler at Arizona State University and in the Octagon, he has man-handled the heavyweight division, demonstrating relentless take-downs, top control and ground and pound. His wrestling, in combination with his cardio, make him a bad match-up for any style of fighter because he can control whether the fight remains standing or on the ground. If he chooses to take the fight to the ground, he has almost no equal. He has used his wrestling to dominate Ben Rothwell and Cheick Kongo on the ground, and when he won the title against Brock Lesnar, he did so by keeping the fight standing.