Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos will square off for a third time when Velasquez next puts his UFC heavyweight title on the line.
UFC President Dana White confirmed the rumored rubber match Saturday night at the UFC 160 post-fight press conference. It is currently unknown where or when the showdown will take place, however.
“[It’s a] no-brainer,” said White. “If there was ever a trilogy, that’s it right there. They’re the two best heavyweights in the world.”
The announcement came shortly after Velasquez dispatched Antonio Silva in the evening’s headliner at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Though Velasquez’s second effort against “Bigfoot” proved far less bloody than his first, it nevertheless netted the heavyweight champion another dominant victory over the massive Brazilian.
As Silva launched a right uppercut just over one minute into the bout, Velasquez countered with a snapping jab-straight combination that dropped Silva to a knee. The champion pounced on his wounded prey, grabbing a front headlock and pivoting to Silva’s back, where Velasquez unloaded with heavy punches until referee Mario Yamasaki waved off the contest at 1:21 of the first period.
“It was no big deal [when he stopped my takedowns]. I use [takedowns] to set up my hands, and I use my hands to set up my takedowns. I’m always chain-fighting,” Velasquez told Fox Sports. “I think his game plan was to keep it standing and use that good right hand that he has. Mine was to keep moving and never stay in front of him.”
In dos Santos, Velasquez will once again face the only man who has ever bested him, as “Cigano” lifted the title from the American Kickboxing Academy standout in 2011. Velasquez returned the favor this past December, however, beating dos Santos to regain the gold at UFC 155.
Following the second defeat of his career, dos Santos returned to his winning ways on Saturday, knocking out Mark Hunt with a third-round spinning hook kick to set the stage for his third encounter with Velasquez.
“I think [the rubber match] makes sense,” said Velasquez. “I think [it could sell out a stadium] maybe in Texas or Mexico. I would love that.”