Junior dos Santos has won all nine of his UFC fights, finishing seven of them. | Photo: Sherdog.com
The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s year-end events are typically anchored by a tremendous main event. That is certainly the case at UFC 155 on Saturday, as Junior dos Santos defends his heavyweight crown against Cain Velasquez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Dos Santos captured the championship with a first-round technical knockout against Velasquez at UFC on Fox 1 in November. Can the American Kickboxing Academy standout turn the tables and avenge the only defeat of his professional career?
Sherdog.com touched base with a number of professional fighters and trainers to gauge their opinions on the UFC 155 “Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2” headliner:
Ricardo Liborio: JDS will keep the gold.
Jason Dent: JDS will win again. I’d say by TKO late in round three.
Mike Ciesnolevicz: Cain is a bad matchup for just about everyone besides JDS. I think the fight lasts a bit longer than last time with the same ending. Cain can’t box effectively with JDS, and while he can take him down, he can’t hold him down. JDS has great takedown defense and explosive hips. Cain gets stopped within three rounds.
Keith Berry: I’m taking JDS. I think he has Cain’s number. I’m looking forward to this one.
Jeremy Stephens: Cain wins.
Dave Jansen: History repeats itself. JDS dismantles Cain again with technique, speed and power in under two minutes. JDS by knockout in round one.
Ramsey Nijem: This is an easy one for me. Of course, I’ll pick my mentor and friend, JDS. His boxing is just too good. He’s shown great takedown defense, and winning breeds winning. I think his confidence, too, will also help him win this fight by KO in the second.
Tom DeBlass: I have to go with JDS. I believe Cain learned from last fight and will try to bring it to the ground quicker. However, I believe the takedown defense and striking will be too much for Cain to handle.
Myles Jury: JDS wins.
Caros Fodor: Man, I gotta go with JDS again. I think this fight will go as the last one did. I don’t think Cain will be able to get him down and will eventually get clipped and knocked out. JDS is a bad dude.
Ben Askren: I really hope Cain can pull this one off. I think without his knee injury he will be more mobile and able to use his wrestling.
Jeff Hougland: I pick Cain by referee stoppage in the fourth round. I think he’ll mix up the wrestling and striking to keep the champ off of his game.
Igor Araujo: I think only Alistair Overeem can trade punches with dos Santos in the UFC, and Cain saw that when they first fought. Cain will try to take him down, but I think JDS is ready for any situation and he will knock him out again, keeping the belt. JDS wins by KO in the first or second round.
J.J. Ambrose: JDS is a great fighter. He’s been ripping through the heavyweight division with good takedown defense and superior striking. That being said, I think Cain is the best heavyweight out there. Watching him train at AKA, you could see that he’s on another level from the rest. The first fight he got caught; he won’t make the same mistake as last time. Cain wins via third-round TKO.
Mitch Clarke: I’m going with Cain in the rematch. JDS may be the best boxer in the division and possibly the UFC, but I believe Cain is more dynamic in his striking and has stellar wrestling. He looked like a man possessed in his fight against “Bigfoot” Silva, and I think we’ll see more of the same in the rematch since Cain is looking to get some revenge. Cain wins by decision.
Jason High: I’m going with Cain for this one. I think if he’s healthy he’s tough for any heavyweight to beat. Pace, cardio and wrestling will be the difference.
Steven Siler: JDS is gonna stop the takedown, keep his range and knock Cain out again so we can finally see JDS vs. Overeem.
Jacob Volkmann: I have no idea on that one. It’s going to be a great fight. Not the same as their first fight.
Travis Lutter: Tough fight to pick. I want to say Velasquez, but I really think it will be Junior’s night again. His standup is going to be hard for him to deal with, but the longer the fight goes, the better chance Velasquez has.
John Gunderson: I’m going with Junior for the stoppage, but my gut is telling me Cain will take him down and grind him out.
Ed Herman: Damn, that’s a tough one. I’m gonna go with Cain if he uses his wrestling to control the fight; it will be a ground-and-pound second-round stoppage. If they stay on their feet and dos Santos can keep his distance, then he wins via third-round TKO.
Nam Phan: I like JDS, but I believe in Cain.
Cung Le: Cain wins by ground-and-pound.
Erik Paulson: This will be another scorcher. I think that Cain was not ready for Junior’s heavy hands and aggression. I think he will be prepared now. I know that Junior absolutely loves that belt, so he will come as hard and strong as he always does. I think he will be in much better shape for this fight. Boys, we’re gonna see a war.
Mark Bocek: JDS wins via KO.
Eric Prindle: I hope Cain wins if he uses his wrestling and top control and keeps his punches tight. Dos Santos has fast hands and good takedown defense. I think dos Santos wins in the second round, but I wish Velasquez would win by first-round ground-and-pound.
Robert Drysdale: Velasquez wins.
Travis Wiuff: Cain upsets the champ by TKO in the third round. He uses his wrestling and cardio to take down dos Santos and ground-and-pound him.
Colton Smith: I definitely choose Cain. I think his wrestling is far superior and I believe he can turn the tide this time around, put his hands on JDS and take him down.
Darren Elkins: I got dos Santos. I think he has the knockout power, the one-hit punch that, if he lands it at any time, puts ’em to sleep.
Johny Hendricks: Man, I gotta go with Cain. I feel like Cain is going to go in there with a different game plan. Even though I know dos Santos is a tough opponent, it’s hard to go against the wrestler.
T.J. Waldburger: Dos Santos. You know, I think the guy just has Cain’s number. I think he’s just going to overpower him. He’s got way more strength in his body and in his punches. He’s got a lot of power. Even with Cain’s wrestling, even on the ground, I think he’s going to overpower him.
Max Holloway: I've got JDS by KO. I gotta stick with the striker my man!
Michael Chiesa: I'm taking JDS by decision. He's improving every fight and he has that great balance of athlete/fighter similar to Bendo.
Pros Picking dos Santos: 18
Pros Picking Velasquez: 10
No Pick: 6
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