Fighter of the Month: December 2012 – Cain Velasquez
By Christopher ‘sLapDatSuCKa’ Jester
Fighter of the Month: Cain Velasquez
Event: UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II (December 29, 2012)
Opponent: Junior Dos Santos
Result: Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-43, 50-44)
Cain Velasquez was a man out on a mission in his second fight against Junior Dos Santos. In their first fight, the former heavyweight champion lost his title to the surging Brazilian bomber in Junior Dos Santos in 64 seconds. The second fight did not go the same way, however.
Right from the gate, Velasquez swarmed the heavyweight champion JDS with a pace that he could not match. After a few attempts at takedowns, Velasquez changed his approach and initiated a striking war where Dos Santos was thought to be the favorite to have the advantage. Halfway through the opening round, Velasquez scored a heavy-hand that knocked down the heavyweight champion. It could have easily been over in those few moments, where Velasquez landed a high-volume of ground and pound that damaged Dos Santos, but Herb Dean merited JDS’s ability to absorb punishment. And that he did for the entirety of the fight.
Junior Dos Santos was never the same again after that initial round. Velasquez’s pace clearly sapped all that the Brazilian had. The same strategy continued throughout the next four rounds, and the strategy was simple. Velasquez continued to pour on the striking and the takedowns even in the latter rounds of the fight. It goes to show and perhaps even cement that Velasquez has the best cardio in the heavyweight business.
Velasquez should be credited for how much he demolished a fighter who had never taken that much punishment in the UFC. Coming into this fight, Junior Dos Santos has spent nearly almost no time on his back but Velasquez repeatedly made JDS comfortable with the Octagon’s mat. The baddest man on the planet became the second baddest man on the planet, when Velasquez took out the former UFC heavyweight champion in a pulverizing and one-sided championship bout. In the end, Junior Dos Santos took a beating so bad he looked like a creature from the Hills Have Eyes. His face was that badly bruised and swollen.
For such an astounding performance, PunchDrunkGamer would like to reward UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez our Fighter of the Month honor for the month of December. Good luck champ with all your future endeavors!
1. Benson Henderson (UFC On Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz – December 8, 2012) – Benson Henderson was one of the few UFC Champions that was heavily criticized throughout the year. This fight against Nate Diaz proved that it was unwarranted. Here in a fight where Diaz should have had the striking advantage, Henderson ousted that idea with steady kicks and cage control. Nate Diaz was never able to amount any sort of offense. Despite a few submission attempts in the latter rounds, Diaz suffered a steady beating throughout the fight from one of the toughest lightweights in the world in Benson Henderson.
2. Jim Miller (UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez – December 29, 2012) – Miller had some time to gather himself after his loss to Nate Diaz back in May, and he came back like a guy refocused and ready to prove that he is still a top contender in the UFC’s lightweight division. Miller’s striking had always been a bit underestimated, but he showed near the end of the first-round that his thumping elbows were some of the best in mixed martial arts today. Those elbows cut open Joe Lauzon very early and the result was a bloody three-round war. Some of Miller’s performance can be credited to his opponent for being such a great dance partner, but Miller showed that he should not be underrated because of his recent two losses to former #1 contender Nate Diaz, and current UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson. Such a performance at UFC 155 proves that he is still near the top for a reason.
3. Jessica Eye (Bellator 83 – December 7, 2012) – With a lot of trash talking and animosity between Jessica Eye and Zoila Gurgel before the fight, it created an intense matchup that lasted only 58 seconds. Jessica Eye defeated the Bellator’s 115 lbs. Strawweight champion in an impressive outing. In what should be considered the best performance of her career, Eye slapped on an impressive arm-triangle choke in the opening frame of the Bellator 83’s co-main event. Jessica Eye did not disappoint, and she demonstrated that she has a huge career ahead of her.
4. Rory MacDonald (UFC On Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz – December 8, 2012) – All MacDonald had to do was simply beat BJ Penn to solidify that he is the next big thing coming out of the UFC’s welterweight division. That’s all he had to do, but he did not just simply beat BJ Penn, he schooled the former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion. It took no time to show that Penn could not weather the storm from the younger and more burly MacDonald. What made it worse for the former champion is that MacDonald could have finished him at several points in the fight. It was clear that MacDonald was taking his feet off the gas pedal in order to show his dominance over the aging BJ Penn. Whether this was polarizing in the sense that he was playing with his opponent, Rory MacDonald stepped out into the spotlight on that night.
Notable Mention: Semmy Schilt with four wins at GLORY 4 Tokyo, Dennis Siver’s second fight at featherweight was a major success in a pulverizing fight against Nam Phan at UFC On Fox and Rustam Khabilov and his deadly suplexes on Vinc Pichel at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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