Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2: Analyzing the Strengths of Cain Velasquez

Tim McTiernanCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2012

HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  UFC Fighter Cain Velasquez speaks at the UFC on Fox: Velasquez v Dos Santos - Press Conference at W Hollywood on September 20, 2011 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Tonight, Cain Velasquez will face off against Junior dos Santos in the main event of UFC 155 with the UFC heavyweight title on the line. Cain is a former heavyweight champion, as he won the title from Brock Lesnar at UFC 121. He later lost it to dos Santos at UFC on Fox 1.

Tonight, he will attempt to reclaim his belt, and become the third two-time UFC heavyweight champion in history.

In the first fight against dos Santos, Velasquez was knocked out in just over one minute. It was a brief fight, but there are still certain things that can be taken from it.

Velasquez threw a lot of leg kicks and looked for a takedown early, and those are two of his strengths.

Velasquez is an incredibly well rounded fighter. He trains at American Kickboxing Academy with some of the best fighters in the sport, and has some of the best trainers around him.

First we can examine his striking. Velasquez has some of the fastest striking in the heavyweight division. He throws his hands and feet and everything he's got in an attempt to knock you out.

He knocked Minotauro Nogueira out with his hands, and he used his knees to send Brock Lesnar tumbling to the ground. He threw leg kicks against dos Santos in an attempt to take away his lead leg, and he has an incredible variety in his striking.

Additionally, Velasquez has some of the best wrestling in the division. He was able to defend the takedowns of Lesnar, and take him down himself. Not only does he have good wrestling credentials to begin with, but he trains and is coached by a former Olympic wrestler and current top-10 heavyweight, Daniel Cormier.

Then, when Velasquez gets you on the ground, he has vicious ground-and-pound. If you don't believe me, you can just ask Antonio Silva, or Brock Lesnar, or a number of other opponents Velasquez has beaten to a pulp on the ground.

Add in the fact that his gas tank is essentially limitless, and you are looking at a great striker and a great wrestler with outstanding ground and pound, and fantastic cardio. Sounds like a lethal combination.


Tim McTiernan is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. For the latest news on everything MMA, follow him on Twitter @TimMcTiernan.