Cain Velasquez’s destruction of Junior dos Santos at UFC 155 really cemented for me that he never really stopped being the best heavyweight on the planet just because Junior caught him in November of last year. That’s the thing about a quick KO in a sport like MMA or boxing, it’s a completely legitimate win, but it leaves a lot of questions.
Cain Velasquez’s performance against Antonio Silva was terrifying. Silva is a bit flawed and, obviously, isn’t impossible to beat, but Cain did unspeakable things to him. He dominated him and basically covered the entire canvas in his blood before turning it up yet another notch and getting the stoppage. Just brutal effectiveness.
As I said on Twitter, there’s a legitimate chance that Cain Velasquez is the best heavyweight on the planet still. Losing on a quick KO doesn’t really prove that he isn’t truly the best. I’m not saying I necessarily think that it’s the case, but I’m not willing to write that possibility off just yet.
The punch that JDS stopped Cain with the first time was kind of flukeish. Not that he doesn’t deserve full credit for the win — obviously he does –, but it looped in at a weird angle and landed right behind the ear. It wasn’t a result that should have been looked at as easily repeatable.
Cain presents a lot of problems to anyone he faces. He does have ridiculously good cardio for a heavyweight, I’m not sure why tiring some last night has people questioning what we’ve seen every fight prior. His combination punching was much improved, to the point where there was not a huge gap on the feet even when the two men were fresh. And he still does have solid wrestling, even if he was falling into moments of oddly reaching from too far out.
What we got last night was a reminder that, while results matter, you should still be willing to look at things objectively and be willing to not be a slave to those same results when trying to determine who the best in the world are. “Ranked higher” and “better” aren’t always the same.
Dos Santos has nothing to be ashamed of. He fought the best heavyweight on the planet and just got wore out. An eventual third fight between the two could still be interesting should they both take care of business over the next year or two. But for now we get to see if Velasquez can handle other potential tests from names like Overeem and Cormier.
It’s a good time to be a fan of heavyweights, and a great time to be a fan of Velasquez.
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