The UFC announced today that heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will defend “the most prestigious title in combat sports” against Junior dos Santos in the promotion’s network TV debut on FOX. The five-round heavyweight title fight will be the main focus of a one-hour long block of programming, which is to be filled with either preliminary fight replays or a ‘best of the night’ special, should the bout end early.
Velasquez has not appeared in action since initially winning the belt by beating up Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 back in October of 2010. Since then, the undefeated and ever-improving 29-year-old has been out of action rehabbing a shoulder injury. The American Kickboxing Academy product has put together a record of 9-0, with seven UFC fight to his credit. Only one of his bouts has gone the distance and the decorated collegiate wrestler has three Knockout of the Night bonuses to his credit.
Junior dos Santos is also a veteran of seven UFC bouts and has gone undefeated in the promotion, while sporting a record of 13-1 overall. The Brazilian knockout artist is currently riding an eight-fight winning streak which culminated with the absolute drubbing of former interim champ Shane Carwin this past June at UFC 131. The 26-year-old owns two Knockout of the Night bonuses and has fought to decision in his last two bouts.
Velasquez and dos Santos were originally scheduled to meet on November 19 at UFC 139 in Velasquez’s home base of San Jose, California. That card will go on as planned and, reportedly, both men were eager to give up their spots on the pay-per-view to headline the UFC’s FOX debut.
UFC on FOX 1 goes down at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Tickets for the event go on sale next Friday, September 9.