Cain Velasquez tasted defeat for the first time in his professional MMA career last night, courtesy a haymaker of a right hand delivered by Junior dos Santos. The finish to their heavyweight title fight came at just over a minute of the first round, ending Velasquez’s championship run in only his first belt defense.
Though the fight only lasted a minute and four seconds, Velasquez (now 9-1) was able to pinpoint what he did wrong, explaining at the post-fight presser that he allowed dos Santos too much space to work his vaunted boxing.
“With the fight, it was my fault. I didn’t pressure enough,” Velasquez assessed. “The gameplan was to go in and pressure and I waited far back too long. I was playing dos Santos’ game. He caught me with a good overhand right, it was my fault.”
The 29-year-old was left face-down after dos Santos’ assault, but recovered quickly after Big John McCarthy waved off the fight. Still, the former champion takes no issue with the stoppage, admitting that dos Santos got him fair and square.
“The initial overhand right, I saw everything going down but my body wasn’t really reacting. Junior just recovered really well. He recovered really well and started with more ground and pound. Yeah, it was a good stoppage,” he said.
Still feeling the sting of defeat, Velasquez was able to keep things in perspective, showing his champion’s heart by vowing to return better than ever to reclaim his belt.
“That’s the name of the game,” said Velasquez. “When you’re fighting against somebody who’s as talented as dos Santos – in this fight game, it happens, you lose. (I just have to) get back in the gym, fine-tweak some stuff, come back, because this is not the end for me.”
UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos went down last night from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. For results and a full recap of the event, click here.