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UFC 155 Predictions From Staff

The rematch a year-plus in the making is just hours away, as Junior dos Santos faces Cain Velasquez in the main event of UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II for the UFC heavyweight title.

Dos Santos stunned Velasquez in late 2011, securing the UFC heavyweight title in the process. “Cigano” went on to defend the belt vs. Frank Mir, while Velasquez stopped Antonio Silva.

Both fighters have said they are 100-percent healthy for the rematch, a stark contrast from the first meeting when both were suffering knee injuries.

FightLine main writer Dana Becker and staff writer Joseph Lisnow offer up their prediction for the dos Santos-Velasquez battle to close out 2012.

Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez for UFC heavyweight championship

Dana: There is no way this second meeting between Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez goes just 64 seconds. Both of these heavyweights will want to test each other out, especially considering the fact that neither are battling knee injuries this time. While dos Santos looked strong against Frank Mir, Velasquez will be posing a different style of attack. Look for Velasquez to use his wrestling this time, pick the right opportunity, and take dos Santos down. Now, here is where this match gets interesting. If dos Santos can work back to his feet, Velasquez will have used a lot of energy to take him down. That gives dos Santos the advantage. “Cigano’s” striking makes the difference once again, as the Brazilian ends 2012 atop the heavyweight division. Junior dos Santos via second round TKO

Joseph: Heading into this rematch, it’s as if these two never met since Junior dos Santos knocked Cain Velasquez down so early in their original meeting there’s not much video on that fight to study. Velasquez needs to repeat his performance from the UFC 146 bout against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, where Velasquez looked like a caged animal ready to destroy anyone in his path. He must put Santos on the ground early and start laying in some punches and elbows. If Velasquez decides to stand with Santos, then this one goes to the champion. I’m looking for Velasquez to go for the takedown early and often. Two major questions will be if Santos can stuff the takedowns and if he has evolved into more than a boxer. While this one will be longer than their first encounter, I don’t think either fighter is expecting the full 25 minutes. Simply put, this will be a slugfest where Velasquez’s wrestling background will play an important role. Cain Velasquez via second round TKO