It was announced this week that the UFC would be pitting heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez against Junior dos Santos in their groundbreaking debut on network TV.
Velasquez and dos Santos will tangle on November 12 in the UFC’s first fight on FOX and both men have expressed excitement for the opportunity. As UFC president Dana White said on the media conference call held to announce the fight for FOX, he’s betting everything that this bout will be exciting — and considering the participants it’s hard to see it going any other way.
Both men are as quick, powerful, agile and technical as heavyweights come, the biggest difference is that Velasquez’s wheelhouse is wrestling, while dos Santos’ is striking. In a recent interview with USA Today’s Sergio Non, dos Santos discussed the bout and explained why he believes that the two will challenge each other like never before in their respective careers.
“Cain is, for sure, going to be my biggest challenge,” asserted the 26-year-old Brazilian. “He’s fast. He has excellent stamina. His cardio’s out of control. He’s got phenomenal takedowns and a really impressive ground game. To be honest, he’s a really complete fighter and fast, unlike most heavyweights. I believe strongly that he’s going to be my biggest and most challenging challenge to date. I hope that I’m going to be the same to him; I hope that I’ll be his biggest challenge to date, as well.”
As far as strategy is concerned, though Velasquez can hang with the best of them on his feet, dos Santos sees him going for takedowns during the fight without a doubt, if for no other reason than to mix things up. He explained that he’ll be prepared for that and that his ground game, which simply hasn’t been put on display yet, may hold some surprises.
“For sure, Cain’s going to try to take me down. I would agree with you that that would be the conventional wisdom,” he said. “In my game, I always look for the knockout. I’m going to look for it against Cain. I would love to knock out Cain Velasquez. But I’m going to be ready for wherever the fight winds up. The truth is, you guys haven’t really seen my ground game yet. If Cain Velasquez takes me down 10 times, I’m going to get up 10 times. I’m not sure Cain is going to be able to take 10 of my punches.”
Velasquez and dos Santos will meet at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California; their fight will be seen during a one hour broadcast on FOX.