Arizona State alum Cain Velasquez reclaimed the heavyweight title that Junior dos Santos took from him last November, with a unanimous decision victory Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Velasquez dominated from start to finish, winning by scores of 50-45, 50-43 and 50-44.
Velasquez, who was an All-American wrestler at Arizona State in 2004 and 2005, attacked from the onset of the fight, shooting for takedowns and attacking the champion from the first minute of the fight.
Dos Santos was able to stuff the first few takedown attempts from the challenger and the fight stayed on the feet for the opening minutes.
Around the midway point of the first round, Velasquez landed a right hand to the chin of Dos Santos that dropped the champion, who was undefeated inside the Octagon coming into the bout.
Velasquez pounced on Dos Santos with ground-and-pound, seriously hurting the champion, who barely made it out of the first round.
Rounds 2-5 were a majority of the same. Velasquez surprisingly to some, got the better of Dos Santos on the feet, landing shots from inside the clinch, on the ground and on the outside.
Unlike their first fight, which lasted just 64 seconds, Velasquez was able to get the champion to the ground, to the tune of over 10 takedowns that Velasquez scored during the fight.
Dos Santos came into the fight having the best takedown defense in the heavyweight division (88.2%).
"I knew that Junior was a tough striker and he was able to end our last fight that way," said Velasquez after the victory. "So I was prepared for him this time. I was able to effectively use my striking and my grappling to control him throughout the fight and get the title back."
As the final seconds dwindled down, the largely Hispanic crowd, rose to their feet and cheered on their champion. Once the final bell rang, Velasquez dropped to the floor and put his hands in the air.
He walked out of the Octagon as the UFC heavyweight champion of the world.