Without a doubt, one of the most anticipated fights of this entire year is going to be between the current UFC number one Heavyweight contender (and former Black House fighter), Junior dos Santos, and current UFC Heavyweight champion, Cain Velasquez at UFC 139 on November 19, 2011.
What really makes this fight so intriguing for so many fight fans is that both of these warriors are very well-known for their incredibly heavy hands, as each of them possesses knockout power, capable of finishing off any opponent with one single and powerful shot.
And yet, despite the perceived equality between their striking skills, many also feel that the real advantage in this fight will belong to Velasquez who is an amazing wrestler, known for having unlimited cardiovascular reserves. Velasquez is a former two-time All-American collegiate wrestler from Arizona State, and was a Junior College National Champ at Iowa Central Community College before finally turning professional in the sport of mixed martial arts.
So the big question remains; how will Junior dos Santos actually survive this fight if it should end up going to the ground?
Recently, a very good friend of mine from Brazil, Eduardo Cruz of Fighter’s Only Magazine, had the pleasure of sitting down with dos Santos to discuss his thoughts on how his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu might compare to that of the wrestling prowess of Velasquez. Here’s what dos Santos had to say:
“The strong point in MMA is attacking from the top,” said dos Santos. “But MMA is very different from traditional jiu-jitsu or submissions. Playing jiu-jitsu while taking blows on the head is a whole new ball game. As soon as my opponent puts me down and holds me there, you will see my ground game.
“I am a BJJ brown belt, but I am not a top [grappler] for sure. I can’t compare myself with Rodrigo Nogueira, or Demian Maia logically, but I rely on my game very much, and I have been training jiu-jitsu a lot and evolving as well at wrestling.
“Wrestling has been for me like boxing. I have been feeling good in training. From the moment I trained with Mark Munoz [UFC middleweight fighter], I began to get the passion and I am learning quickly, chiefly the takedown defence because my intention is to keep the bout on the feet where I like to perform.”
Between the Lines Analysis:
It definitely sounds as though dos Santos is going to do everything in his power to keep this fight standing, as he clearly has no intentions of trying to take this fight down to the ground in the hopes of finally demonstrating his untested jiu-jitsu skills. I do think however, that dos Santos is going to find a considerable difference when he tries to defend the well executed takedowns of Velasquez, versus those of the much lighter and less skilled, Mark Munoz.
My prediction is that when (not if) Velasquez can get dos Santos down to the mat, it will be because dos Santos will have failed in his ability to defend the incredibly tough takedowns by Velasquez. I also feel that his jiu-jitsu will instantly become a non-factor in this fight, as Velasquez is highly experienced as a ground fighter with great submission defense.
In the end however, I don’t see this fight ending with either of these men lying on their backs for very long. Eventually, one of these giants will almost certainly get knocked out (or lose by TKO)—probably in the first or second round.
The big question is...who will it be?
What do you think, fight fans? Who’s gonna win this epic championship battle?