Given that this title-winning knockout occured in just 64 seconds, however, many fight fans felt that they hadn’t actually seen Dos Santos and Velasquez fight. We’d seen Dos Santos land the right punch at the right time, yes, but his winning so quickly deprived us of the chance to see what Velasquez was really capable of.
Given this widespread feeling, the two heavyweight greats were paired again a little over a year later. This time around, the outcome was much different.
When Dos Santos couldn’t find an opening for a fight-ending punch, he was instead brutalized by Velasquez for the bout’s full, 25-minute duration, surrendering a unanimous decision and the title as a result.
Given that Dos Santos and Velasquez were then split 1-1 across their first two lopsided bouts, there could be no other option than a third fight between them. So, a little less than a year down the road, they went at in a tie-breaker.
In this third showdown, Velasquez emerged the victor again, savaging Dos Santos to an even more decisive end: a fifth-round TKO.
With this outcome Dos Santos entered strange territory. Though he was the clear-cut second-best heavyweight on earth, he appeared to have little to offer the reigning champion and, as such, would have to put in some real work if he wanted to be considered a contender again.
Today, however, when neither Dos Santos nor Velasquez wears heavyweight gold, and both men have re-entered the title picture with recent wins, the possibility of a fourth fight between them suddenly exists. And though the outcome of their second two fights assures Dos Santos would be a sizeable underdog in this prospective third fight, he seems to be confident he’d come out on top.
Why? Because he thinks Velasquez has changed a great deal since the UFC partnered with USADA, the United States Anti-Doping Agency. In other words, he’s skeptical that Velasquez was a clean fighter at the time of their second and third fights.
Dos Santos made this weighty claim in the comments section of one of his recent posts to Instagram:
When a fan suggests Dos Santos was retired by Velasquez, Dos Santos replied:
“He is not the same anymore #USADA.”
Given that Dos Santos’ posts to Instagram generate hundreds of comments, it’s possible that he assumed this comment would be buried under others and never see the light of day. Regardless, this is a serious accusation against his former foil – a man who has never failed a drug test.
Do you think Cain Velasquez is a clean fighter? Sound off, PENN Nation!