UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos – Preview, Main Event Guest Panel Picks & Event Coverage
By Justin Bolduc
This weekend for the first time the UFC will appear on network TV. The showcased bout for UFC on Fox features UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez against number two ranked heavyweight Junior Dos Santos.
Taking place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, the heavyweight main event will air live on Fox on November 12 at 9pm EST/6pm PST. While the heavyweight bout will be the only televised fight of the night, the entire preliminary card will air live and free on the UFC’s official Facebook page, as well as on FoxSports.com.
The most highly-anticipated preliminary bout features former WEC champion Ben Henderson against former Strikeforce champion Clay Guida in a lightweight contest which will likely see the winner challenge UFC champion Frankie Edgar next year. Additionally, highly-regarded featherweights Dustin Poirier and Pablo Garza look to inch closer to UFC gold in the 145-pound division.
WEC veterans Cub Swanson and Ricardo Lamas meet in a featherweight match-up, while The Ultimate Fighter 9 finalist DaMarques Johnson takes on The Ultimate Fighter 13’s Clay Harvison. In PDG’s Match-Up of the Night international superstar Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto takes on Strikeforce and Dream veteran Darren Uyenoyama in a bantamweight contest.
WEC veteran Mackens Semerzier faces Strikeforce veteran Robert Peralta while TUF alum Alex Caceres meets the first ever WEC featherweight champion Cole Escovedo. The ten bout fight card will kick off with light heavyweights Aaron Rosa and Matt Lucas and welterweights Mike Pierce and Paul Bradley.
Cain Velasquez (9-0) vs. Junior Dos Santos (13-1)
UFC Heavyweight Championship
Cain Velasquez (7-0 UFC) joined the UFC in only his third professional bout against Brad Morris at UFC 83. The AKA prospect won by TKO on the undercard before moving up in competition to face Jake O’Brien where he secured his fourth straight first round TKO. Gaining popularity with the fans, Velasquez then went to the second round for the first time in his career against the ultra-tough Denis Stojnic before earning another TKO.
Velasquez then showcased a solid chin and a ton of heart against Cheick Kongo, using dominant wrestling and ground and pound to earn a unanimous decision – the only time he has gone the distance. After a second round TKO victory over IFL stand-out Ben Rothwell, Velasquez knocked out former PRIDE heavyweight champion and former UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Most recently Velasquez stopped Brock Lesnar inside the first round to earn the UFC’s heavyweight title.
Velasquez owns eight of his nine professional victories by TKO, including six inside the first round. Despite an NCAA Div I all-American wrestling background, Velasquez possesses a strong Muay Thai attack and some of the best conditioning in the heavyweight division.
Junior Dos Santos (7-0 UFC) made his mark in his UFC debut by knocking out top-ten ranked Fabricio Werdum in only eighty-one seconds. Instantly putting the heavyweight division on notice, Dos Santos then stopped fellow prospect Stefan Struve in a mere fifty-four seconds before battering PRIDE‘s 2006 Open-Weight Grand Prix champion Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic into a third round submission.
Dos Santos’ stock continued to rise with a first round TKO over Dutch striker and international talent Gilbert Yvel, before an impressive first round TKO over one-time UFC contender Gabriel Gonzaga. Dos Santos then outpointed The Ultimate Fighter 10 winner and former IFL champion Roy Nelson before earning a unanimous decision over former UFC contender Shane Carwin after coaching the thirteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Dos Santos has earned eight wins by TKO and three by submission (albeit one due to strikes and one due to exhaustion) in thirteen professional victories. Dos Santos has finished ten opponents inside the first round and is currently on an eight-fight win streak.
PunchDrunkGamer’s UFC on Fox 1 – Main Event Guest Panel Picks
Frank Shamrock (King of Pancrase, Former UFC, WEC & Strikeforce Champion, 23-10-2) – “Cain is going to put a whooping on Dos Santos with too much pressure and ground and pound.”
Paul Daley (29-11-2, Former Cage Rage British Welterweight Champion) – “Cain will win by TKO using his GNP.”
Scott Casber (Takedown Wrestling Radio) – “The amount of growth exhibited by Velasquez over the past year and since his days at AZ State is tremendous. I’m having a hard time choosing a valuable opponent for him let alone JDS. Don’t get me wrong, I do respect JDS but I just don’t think he is of that championship caliber to challenge or compete with Velasquez. UFC on Fox starts it all with a bang and a tremendous knock out of JDS by the former Sun Devil Velasquez.”
Jesse Finney (6-1 MMA Record, Owner of Finney’s H.I.T. Squad Gym) – “I think it’s the best day in UFC history. I hope the fight lives up to everything but I just don’t see it. I feel Cain will win this fight with a TKO in the 3rd round after taking him down pretty easy in the first and second rounds. TKO win for Cain in the 3rd round.”
Dr. John Fitzgerald (The Blood Doc) – “I believe Junior dos Santos will win by a stoppage from strikes in the 2nd or 3rd round.”
Paul Bradley (18-3, Strikeforce & UFC Vet) – “I’m going with Cain by decision. I think he will be able to use his wrestling along with his striking to grind out a decision.”
Ryan Couture (3-1 MMA Record, Son of UFC Hall of Famer) – “I think it’s very evenly matched and that it will be a great fight. I give a slight edge to Cain because of his wrestling advantage and that should be the difference in the fight.”
Ben Henderson (14-2) vs. Clay Guida (29-11)
Number One Contender?
Ben Henderson (2-0 UFC) joined the UFC fold when the WEC completely merged with the top mixed martial arts promotion in the world. Entering the UFC directly after losing his WEC title, Henderson quickly proved himself with an impressive, high-paced unanimous decision over Mark Bocek at UFC 129. Most recently Henderson snapped Jim Miller’s seven-fight win streak with superior wrestling and brutal ground and pound to thrust himself into talks of title contention.
Prior to joining the UFC, Henderson made big waves in the WEC where he earned a submission over Anthony Njokuani, a TKO over Shane Roller, and a decision over Donald Cerrone to earn the WEC’s interim lightweight championship. Henderson then stopped Jamie Varner with a guillotine choke to become the undisputed WEC lightweight champion. After successfully defending his title in a rematch with Cerrone, Henderson lost a close, fight of the year candidate against Anthony Pettis in the last-ever WEC bout.
Henderson, who holds a black belt in TaeKwonDo and a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has earned two victories by TKO and eight by submission. A two-time NAIA all-American wrestler, Henderson placed third at the 2011 World Jiu-Jitsu Championships in the brown belt division.
Clay Guida (9-5 UFC) has made a name for himself in the UFC as a high-energy, tenacious fighter who can beat you in exciting fashion or put so much pressure the match is stifling. The former Strikeforce champion’s UFC run began with a rough 5-5 start with wins over Justin James, Marcus Aurelio, Sammy Schiavo Nate Diaz, and Mac Danzig but with losses to Tyson Griffin, Din Thomas, Kenny Florian, Diego Sanchez, and Roger Huerta.
After back-to-back losses to Sanchez and Florian though, Guida made a major turn-around and is currently on a dominant four-fight win streak. Guida returned to the winning track by submitting Shannon Gugerty with an arm-triangle at UFC Live 1. He then put a beating on Rafale Dos Anjos, submitting the Brazilian after breaking his jaw. Guida then earned a highly-impressive submission victory over former PRIDE champion Takanori Gomi before most recently out-pointing former WEC champion Anthony Pettis at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale.
Guida owns more than half of his wins, fifteen, by submission and four by TKO. During his time in the UFC, Guida has earned fight of the night honors four times and submission of the night honors twice.
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto (18-4, 1 NC) vs. Darren Uyenoyama (6-3)
PDG’s Match-Up of the Night
“Kid” Yamamoto (0-1 UFC) became an international sensation with his high-level wrestling and impressive kickboxing. Despite being a natural bantamweight, Yamamoto bested bigger competition in brutal fashion including Bibiano Fernandes, Genki Sudo, Caol Uno, Jeff Curran, Hideki Kadowaki, and Rani Yaha. “Kid” sat atop a professional mixed martial arts record of 17-1 (with one no contest) at the end of 2007, with the only loss coming due to a cut. After a two year absence he returned to the sport.
In his 2009 return, Yamamoto was outpointed by Joe Warren in a split decision in Dream. He then lost to 2009 Sengoku Featherweight Grand Prix champion Masanori Kanehara by decision before knocking out journeyman Federico Lopez at Dream 14. Most recently Yamamoto lost his UFC debut to recent bantamweight contender Demetrious Johnson.
Yamamoto has finished two opponents by submission and thirteen by TKO or knockout. His prior absence from mixed martial arts in 2007 was due to an attempt at competing in the Olympics as a wrestler, something his father had done in 1972.
Darren Uyenoyama (0-0 UFC) enters his UFC debut as a fighter to watch. Having gone 3-0 in Strikeforce already, the American has also competed in Japan – including Dream, DEEP, and Shooto. Beginning his professional career with a 3-1 mark, “BC” first fought for Strikeforce at Young Guns 2 where he finished Andrew Valladrez with a rear naked choke in only fifty-nine seconds. He then stopped Anthony Figueroa with a guillotine choke in less than ninety seconds at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Le.
Uyenoyama then joined Dream’s bantamweight tournament where he lost to Hideo Tokoro. After earning a win in his final Strikeforce appearance over Brad Royster, Uyenoyama fought once for DEEP where he lost to Tomoya Miyashita due to a second round guillotine choke. Most recently Uyenoyama won his sole Shooto appearance against Shuichiro Katsumura due to a second round TKO.
In six professional victories “BC” has stopped one by TKO and three by submission. The 32-year old San Francisco native fights out of the Faito Tamashii Combat Club.
UFC On Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos Fight Card
Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos (UFC Heavyweight Championship)
Ben Henderson vs. Clay Guida
Dustin Poirier vs. Pablo Garza
Cub Swanson vs. Ricardo Lamas
DaMarques Johnson vs. Clay Harvison
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Darren Uyenoyama (PDG’s Match-Up of the Night)
Mackens Semerzier vs. Robert Peralta
Alex Caceres vs. Cole Escovedo
Mike Pierce vs. Paul Bradley
Aaron Rosa vs. Matt Lucas