The Ultimate Fighting Championship will close out its year with some serious bang, as the world’s top two heavyweights confront one another in a high-stakes rematch.
Reigning champion Junior dos Santos checked in at 239 pounds for his five-round battle with former titleholder Cain Velasquez (240) in the UFC 155 main event on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The eight other men with appointments on the main card, including lightweight co-headliners Jim Miller (156) and Joe Lauzon (156), also met their contracted weight requirements without incident at Friday’s official weigh-in.
Sherdog Fantasy MMA: UFC 155 Free Fan Pick’Em
Dos Santos will enter the cage on a 10-fight winning streak. He captured the heavyweight crown in November 2011, when he needed just 64 seconds to dispatch Velasquez with punches. The 28-year-old Brazilian successfully defended the title with a second-round technical knockout over Frank Mir at UFC 146 in May. Dos Santos has won all nine of his fights in the UFC, finishing seven of them. His list of victims includes two-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist Fabricio Werdum, 2006 Pride Fighting Championships open weight grand prix winner Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 winner Roy Nelson. A skilled and devastating puncher, dos Santos has stopped 11 opponents inside one round.
Anchored at the American Kickboxing Academy, Velasquez last appeared at UFC 146 in May, when he put a savage beating on former EliteXC champion Antonio Silva en route to a first-round TKO. The 30-year-old Salinas, Calif., native was a two-time NCAA All-American wrestler at Arizona State University and transitioned seamlessly to mixed martial arts. According to FightMetric figures, Velasquez lands more strikes per minute (7.47) than any fighter in UFC history. Wins over former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Brock Lesnar, onetime Pride heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and French kickboxer Cheick Kongo buoy his resume. Velasquez has compiled an 8-1 mark in the UFC.
UFC 155 “Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2” -- which airs live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT -- will also feature a trio of middleweight matches, as the world-ranked Tim Boetsch (186) locks horns with Constantinos Philippou (186), Alan Belcher (186) meets Yushin Okami (184) and Chris Leben (185) collides with Strikeforce import Derek Brunson (185).
Two hours prior, the FX network will carry four preliminary bouts: Brad Pickett (136) vs. Eddie Wineland (135), Erik Perez (136) vs. Byron Bloodworth (136), Melvin Guillard (155) vs. Jamie Varner (155) and Michael Johnson (154) vs. Myles Jury (155). The three remaining fights will stream to the UFC’s Facebook page at 6:35 p.m. ET/3:35 p.m. PT, as Todd Duffee (249) takes on Philip De Fries (245), Leonard Garcia (146) toes the line against Max Holloway (145) and Chris Cariaso (125) squares off with John Moraga (126).
UFC 155 “Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2” Weigh-In Results:Junior dos Santos (239) vs. Cain Velasquez (240)
Jim Miller (156) vs. Joe Lauzon (156)
Tim Boetsch (186) vs. Constantinos Philippou (186)
Alan Belcher (186) vs. Yushin Okami (184)
Chris Leben (185) vs. Derek Brunson (185)
Brad Pickett (136) vs. Eddie Wineland (135)
Erik Perez (136) vs. Byron Bloodworth (136)
Melvin Guillard (155) vs. Jamie Varner (155)
Michael Johnson (154) vs. Myles Jury (155)
Todd Duffee (249) vs. Philip De Fries (245)
Leonard Garcia (146) vs. Max Holloway (145)
Chris Cariaso (125) vs. John Moraga (126)