Instead, both men stood and traded for five exhausting rounds, with Velasquez getting the better of the former champion en route to a unanimous decision victory and a second title reign.
According to Velasquez, though, that was all part of the plan.
In a chat with ESPN during the immediate aftermath of the bout, Velasquez said that he actually had to switch up his tactics after he figured out that the former champion wasn't going down so easily:
It was hard, you know? I know I hit him with a good shot. When we were down, it was hard. I really wanted to keep a lot of weight on him and keep him down, but also throw a lot of power in my punches. I couldn't get the amount of power I wanted to knock him out on the ground, it's very hard to do that. So, I tried to be smart, so once he recovered, [I] kind of slowed it down a bit and tried to take it back down.
Velasquez didn't manage to get the finish, although he handily won every round of the fight to win back the UFC heavyweight championship belt.
That victory was also punctuated by 11 takedowns (according to Fight Metric), a key element that Velasquez says aided him immensely despite JDS trying to evade the maneuver:
A lot of people were like, "Take him down, take him down." It's not like that. If your opponent knows you're going to take him down right off the bat, then of course he's going to defend it. But if you throw stuff up top, throw punches and then got to the takedown, it's a set-up. It makes it so much easier for you.
UFC 155 marks the first time that a heavyweight title fight in the promotion has gone to a decision since UFC 68, where Randy Couture upset the comparatively massive Tim Sylvia.
It was also a rare situation for Velasquez, who hadn't gone to a decision since a difficult three-round battle against Cheick Kongo at UFC 99 in June 2009. Aside from that bout and UFC 155, Velasquez has scored knockout wins in every single one of his other 10 career fights.
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