When Alistair Overeem’s failed his pre-fight blood test in early April, leading UFC President, Dana White, to wipe the Dutchman from the main event at UFC 146 in a match-up for the Heavyweight title, “The Reem’s” abnormally high testosterone to epitestosterone levels (T/E) were not the only things exposed.
With the chaotic last minute reshuffling for an all-heavyweight event for this past Memorial Day Weekend, the lack of serious contenders for the UFC’s Heavyweight division was also put on display.
While there is no lack of young and developing talent, such as Stefan Struve, Matt Mitrione, and Stipe Miocic, in the ranks of the division, title-ready competitors are hard to find at the current moment.
With Overeem out of action due to a nine-month suspension at the hands of the Nevada State Athletic Commission as a result of his T/E ratio, the immediate rematch between Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez made little sense in April. After all, the Brazilian, Dos Santos required a mere 64 seconds to dispatch the former Arizona State All-American wrestler, and then Heavyweight champion, at UFC on Fox this past November.
Interest in this rematch was reignited this past weekend when Velasquez came out to make a statement to catch the attention of Dana White and UFC matchmaker, Joe Silva, in his bout with Strikeforce veteran, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.
Velasquez did just that– with a savage and bloody dismantling of Silva, the former All-American wrestler and member of American Kickboxing Academy, left little room for doubt as to who deserved the next shot at Dos Santos.
In the post-fight press conference for UFC 146, Dana White confirmed many people’s suspicions by informing the public that Cain will be getting his rematch.
“Cain deserves the next fight [for the title],” said White.
Though recent champions, like 155er Frankie Edgar, have made obvious their distaste for rematches, Dos Santos is game.
“Let’s do it, I’m ready for that,” stated Dos Santos emphatically.
“Cain Velasquez is really tough. In my mind, he is something very different in this division. He’s fast and his stamina is very good. For sure he is a dangerous and a good fighter,” added the Champion.
Although Dos Santos is cognizant of Velasquez’s abilities, he does not see the fight ending any differently than before.
“I’m here to stay. That’s why I’m working so hard. I take everything very seriously.”
With hopes for a different outcome in his rematch with the striker, Dos Santos, Velasquez shared his own thoughts on what he will do differently when the two meet in the Octagon for the second time to ensure victory.
“[I need to] bring the fight to him [Dos Santos], more than before. I stood on the outside for too long where he’s dangerous and he has his fast, heavy hands and good footwork,” shared the AKA standout.
Though Dana White admitted he was unsure of where and when the title match would take place, fans should expect to see Dos Santos attempt to use his boxing to pick apart Velasquez from the outside, while the former champ has promised to get in the standup fighter’s face from the get-go, in what promises to be an exciting and explosive matchup for the UFC’s Heavyweight strap.