Is the Trilogy Really the End of Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos Rivalry?

October 14, 2013
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Cain-Velasquez-Junior-dos-Santos-UFC-FOX-weighThere always seems to be an inherent finality to a trilogy in combat sports: Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Roberto Duran, Randy Couture vs. Chuck Liddell, Georges St-Pierre vs. Matt Hughes, and numerous others have settled the score with a trio of fights.

UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and challenger Junior dos Santos meet for the third time this coming Saturday at UFC 166 at the Toyota Center in Houston. They are currently deadlocked at one victory apiece.

Velasquez has the momentum, having defeated dos Santos in a five-round drubbing in their last bout, which took place in December of last year. Their first fight, in November of 2011, was all dos Santos, however, with the Brazilian finishing the fight with a stunning 64-second knockout.

Saturday’s match-up is the rubber match. The winner has bragging rights. The winner has the UFC heavyweight championship belt. The winner settles the score.

Or does he?

Velasquez believes so.

“I think this will be the last one, yes. I think this is the one that settles it all so obviously you have to wait and see, but yes, I think this will be the end of it,” said Velasquez recently.

“I think with this being the third one and then we’re both one and one, being the third one this will kind of settle the whole, the trilogy itself. I think there will be other opponents that need to be fought and everything else and I think it will just be the end.”

As long as the outcome is conclusive, Velasquez is correct. The victor will need to move on to other opponents and defend the belt against other challengers. Fighters like Fabricio Werdum, Josh Barnett, Travis Browne, and others are knocking on the door and deserve a shot at the belt.

It’s also not out of the question that whoever loses could quickly be back in the title picture, despite the lengthy list of potential challengers. There will be some necessary regrouping, but neither fighter is at an age where he would be forced out to pasture.

Velasquez is 31 years of age, while dos Santos is only 29.

The former champion, dos Santos, believes that regardless of the outcome, he and Velasquez will remain two of the top heavyweights on the planet, and could become one of the longest running rivalries in combat sports.

“I don’t think so, I don’t think it’s going to be the last one,” said dos Santos. “I think we’re going to fight each other again and in the future or soon or late we’re going to be fighting again.

“I think Cain Velasquez is a great opponent and a great fighter.  He is going to try to keep himself in a good position all the time or as a champion or in a good position in the rank and I’ll do the same with myself. So I think we’re going to see each other again.”

With the Velasquez vs. dos Santos trilogy coming together in a two-year span, and with neither man looking like his skills are fading, don’t be surprised if dos Santos is correct.

And, realistically, who is going to complain if we get to see further Velasquez vs. dos Santos match-ups down the road?

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  • Timothy Malone

    I’m going to complain. I dont want to see the same two guys fight over and over again no matter how good they are. Whoever loses this fight will have to literally beat every other guy in the Top 10 before I would want to see them get another title shot against the same champion.

    • TheCerealKiller

      Cain has only fought 3 guy the past three years! JDS, Bigfoot and Brock. There are plenty of others he can fight.

  • Johnny Eagle

    You can’t deny them if they keep winning all other opponents and the only ones who can beat them, is each other.

    Furthermore, if Dos Santos WINS…can you really deny Velasquez another shot in 2-3 fights???

    • macarrech

      Exactly. None of those fighters had an immediate rematch. Both had earn the title fight.

    • dgs

      This becomes a major issue when you have a division where two fighters dominate and are so much better than everyone else in the division.

      “Fighters like Fabricio Werdum, Josh Barnett, Travis Browne, and others are knocking on the door and deserve a shot at the belt.”

      Guess what MMA editior, both Velasquez and Dos Santos are better than any of those fighters, much better. Either fighter will mop the floor with those kinds of opponents, and so per the article title, no the trilogy will not settle it regardless of who wins. Both of these guys are simply too good for their division, and thus will be stuck fighting each other again.

  • Matty

    I agree they will meet again. They are both way better then any other top ten fighter currently fighting for the ufc.

  • fsunoles10

    personally thought it was stupid to match them up so soon after cain thoroughly dominated jds but i guess there wasnt really anyone else at the time. when the hell is stipe gonna fight again is what im wondering.,

  • JDMMA

    I wanna see 2 more !!! esp if JDS wins

  • AXE MURDERER

    IF Cane wins this rubber match, then JDS will have to get a couple of wins before a 4th fight. Which would be cool so we could possibly see Cigano vs Cormier, Hapa, Barnett, Overeem, a rematch with Werdum or a Fight with Stipe! There’s a lot of interesting fights for JDS. But if JDS beats Cane in a close fight i could see the 4th fight taking place sooner cuz Canes the champ

  • Mike mckinney

    Lets see what tune Cain sings if he loses. But then again. If Cain loses it’s probably because he got knocked out again. He might not want to get back in there.

  • Dragon Kid

    JDS is the real world’s champ since he’s fought the better fighters than Cain has. Cain hasn’t fought anyone but bums other than big nog

    • Big Tuna

      This guy is the uneducated meathead MMA fan that I’m always trying to describe…

      • Cptmats

        He’s right !

    • fsunoles10

      yet cain thoroughly demolished jds for 5 complete rounds which is a lot more telling of who is more skilled than when jds just caught cain early in the 1st.

      • Dragon Kid

        For 5 rounds, Cain couldn’t even put JDS away yet JDS did it in over a minute