My review of UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2, which was a terrible event until the last two fights.
Cain Velasquez def. Junior dos Santos: The first fight wasn’t a fluke, but this fight was a bit more indicative of how the two fighters match up. Velasquez never let JDS settle in this time around. He was immediately on him to start the fight. He was shooting for sloppy takedowns and failing for the most part, but what he did was constantly press JDS on the feet and make him fight on the defensive, which he clearly wasn’t comfortable doing. Velasquez rocked JDS with a beautiful overhand right in the first round and that was really the fight changer. It took JDS a round or two to regain his wits and during that time, Velasquez continued to put it on him with his relentless pace. I have to give JDS a lot of credit though because his takedown defense, which was obviously a big question mark heading into the fight, looked pretty outstanding. In the fifth round, he was still defending takedowns or bouncing back up. While Cain’s wrestling can’t be undersold, it was really his ability to to aggressively move forward with strikes, clinch up, and make JDS defend. This fight was dominated by Velasquez, but you’d be foolish to just write off JDS following this loss. He showed some good things, answered some questions we had about him, and is still as dangerous as they come with his knockout power. As for Velasquez, you have to give him a lot of credit for recognizing the biggest flaw in JDS’s game (his defensive footwork) and taking advantage of it. The best thing about Velasquez is that he can adapt to anyone with his combination of speed, power, and cardio. Besides JDS, and maybe Alistair Overeem, I don’t see too many fighters threatening Velasquez for the title in the near future.
Jim Miller def. Joe Lauzon: This fight saved the main card. These two beat the hell out of each other with Miller being able to beat the hell out of Lauzon a lot more. This fight was a bloody mess thanks in large part to Lauzon’s face, which was brutally cut up in the first round. Miller got the better of Lauzon in all aspects, but Lauzon hung extremely tough for all three rounds and even took round two as Miller slowed a bit after a dominating round one. I was a bit shocked that Lauzon came back strong in the second since he’s a notoriously fast starter who badly fades after the first, but maybe since he had a terrible first, he had his energy stored for the second. He did fade in the third though, which allowed Miller to regain control and take the decision. Both of these guys are staples in the division and will win their fair share of fights, but neither guy is a title contender. But hey, they’ll continue to put on exciting fights and at least be remembered for that, so it could be worse.
Costa Philippou def. Tim Boetsch: So much for the Boetsch hype train. It didn’t help that he got eye poked to death in this fight, but I think most of us knew that he wasn’t very good. That said, he still should’ve been good enough to beat Philippou. He did well in the first round, but after the eye pokes and multiple failed takedowns, Philippou sort of took over. And I say sort of because he didn’t look too impressive either. Despite the win and a good 2012, I wouldn’t put too much stock into Philippou as he’s a flawed and boring fighter.
Yushin Okami def. Alan Belcher: Okami just Okami’d Belcher again and that was that. Belcher looked very out of shape and he fought like it to. Okami basically took him down at will, dominated the positioning, and Belcher had no answers. Actually, Belcher had top position at one point, but failed to do anything with it and allowed Okami to regain position. It was a painfully boring fight that set Belcher back a step and did nothing to re-establish Okami in the division.
Derek Brunson def. Chris Leben: Can we finally give up on Leben? He hasn’t improved, in fact, he’s regressed. This was a boring fight thanks to Leben’s complete lack of takedown defense and ability to get back to his feet. I guess his strategy was to tire out Brunson in hopes of landing the big KO punch in the third, but it didn’t work out so well for him. Brad Pickett vs. Eddie Wineland should’ve been the PPV opener and it would’ve been nice if Dana realized that before the show and not after.