There’s a new ruler atop the heavyweight division, albeit a familiar face.
Cain Velasquez closed out 2012 in style, reclaiming the UFC heavyweight title with a five-round battering of Junior dos Santos at UFC 155 and leaving no question as to who is MMA’s best big man. Any notion that the Brazilian might repeat his title-winning performance from November 2011 was quickly quashed, as Velasquez used superior speed and wrestling to bring the fight where he wanted. The new champ’s path won’t get any easier with his next defense, likely to come against the winner of February’s Alistair Overeem-Antonio Silva showdown.
Elsewhere on the scale, bantamweights Eddie Wineland and Brad Pickett swapped spots at 135 pounds after Wineland punched his way to a split decision win on Dec. 29. At middleweight, Tim Boetsch falls to the contenders list after a third-round TKO loss to Constantinos Philippou, who enters the rankings for the first time at No. 10.
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