then sidesteps the next shot. Another single-leg try from Velasquez fails and Cigano turns him around again, sticking jabs all along. Velasquez gets dos Santos against the cage and shoots the single again, and again dos Santos sidesteps him. Cheers of “Cigano” ring out around the arena as the champ stays on his bike, moving backward from the jabs and shots of the challenger. Velasquez is getting off with his left inside, marking up the champ as he muscles him into the fence with an underhook. Left hands in the phone booth from Cain until dos Santos can circle out. Velasquez gives chase with a leg kick, bombing punches, keeping pressure on the champ and finally dropping him along the fence. Dos Santos is dazed, kneeling with his right side to the fence, with Velasquez just unloading dozens of nasty left hands. Dos Santos survives, improbably, and even rides out the next barrage of ground-and-pound to finish out the brutal first frame.
Dos Santos tries to greet his challenger with an uppercut to start round two and is met with another flurry of nasty punches, followed by another rugged takedown. Velasquez is styling all over dos Santos on the ground, keeping control of the champion with a waistlock. Dos Santos gets back up to his rubbery legs and staggers backward to the other side of the cage, where Velasquez spins him down with an easy single-leg. Again, Velasquez controls dos Santos on the ground until the champion is able to clamber back up. It’s only a momentary change as Velasquez roughs dos Santos up on the cage and then puts him on the ground again. Dos Santos pops his hips and shoves Velasquez off the top, so Velasquez goes for an armbar instead. Dos Santos pops his arm free and has top position for a brief second until Velasquez decides to stand. Velasquez nearly hits another takedown but dos Santos saves himself by grabbing the fence. Knees inside the clinch from Velasquez, who steps back and throws a few punches before the horn.
His right eye now badly swollen, Dos Santos goes for the uppercut again to start round three and hits it this time. He gets off a couple punches to the body as well before Velasquez gets in range and plows him to the canvas. Dos Santos struggles up and is bullied on the fence until he backs off, connecting with a couple good lefts as he moves to the other side of the cage. Once he gets there, Velasquez traps him against the fence and starts grinding with work in the clinch, now focusing on dos Santos’ body. Dos Santos pulls the challenger’s head down toward a knee; Cain answers with short, brutish punches up the middle. He walks dos Santos along the outside, slugs him with some more right hands until Cigano turns him around. Velasquez tries to trip him down but dos Santos stays up in the whizzer position. Velasquez takes the outside again, peppers dos Santos with punches, has a single-leg turned away. Dos Santos slugs Velasquez in the breadbasket with a strong uppercut and it looks like we may have ourselves a fight here after all.
Velasquez pursues the champ around the perimeter with leg kicks, looking to clinch and presumably for another takedown. Dos Santos just keeps backing up, backing up, throwing punches and eventually gets taken down against the fence. He pops back to his feet and denies the next single-leg attempt, then turns Velasquez around against the cage. Uppercuts to the body and head from Velasquez now as he gets to the outside with half the round remaining. They come off the fence and it’s Velasquez walking down the champ, back toward the fence, where he can’t come up with a takedown.
Velasquez comes right at dos Santos, looking for the takedown. Dos Santos is warned for grabbing the fence again but manages to break free of his challenger’s grasp. Velasquez keeps on him and grabs another single-leg, which dos Santos defends by hopping on one leg and socking Velasquez with short punches. Two more takedown attempts from Velasquez fail, but midway through the round he finally gets dos Santos to the floor. Velasquez works to secure the back with one hook in but dos Santos twists around and Velasquez instead grinds away with his right elbow from half-guard. Dos Santos crawls toward the fence, giving up his back again. He stands and Velasquez stands with him, shouldering him against the cage. Dos Santos keeps throwing punches in the last minute but Velasquez is just too strong, holding the Brazilian on the fence and mugging him with punches inside to the final horn.
Official result: Cain Velasquez def. Junior dos Santos via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-43, 50-44) R5 5:00