Junior Dos Santos put UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez on notice with his one-sided performance to defeat Shane Carwin at UFC 131 on Saturday night in Vancouver.
Junior Dos Santos was already considered the No. 1 contender for the UFC heavyweight title before he stepped foot in Vancouver for UFC 131.
After a three round drubbing of former interim champion Shane Carwin on Saturday night, Dos Santos established himself by far the top fighter to face Cain Velasquez later this year with the UFC belt on the line.
While virtually no one would have predicted that the fight between Dos Santos and Carwin would end in a decision, the one-sided nature of the bout was somewhat a surprise to a great many people.
From the first touch of the gloves, Junior Dos Santos showed off the boxing that got him to the top of the division, establishing his jab early and then following it up with power shots.
With time ticking away in the first round, Dos Santos cracked Carwin with a monstrous shot that rocked the Colorado fighter, and the Brazilian was like a lion devouring his prey. Dos Santos blasted away at Carwin’s head looking for the stoppage, but an astute performance from referee Herb Dean kept a close eye on the action and deemed the fight could continue.
After the round, Carwin was a bloody mess with what is likely a broken nose, his second broken nose suffered since coming to the UFC.
Carwin did battle back in the 2nd round, launching punches at Dos Santos and catching him with a couple of them, but as the time wore on his opponent got stronger.
Dos Santos popped Carwin with the jab repeatedly as the blood on Carwin’s face expanded with each shot. In the 3rd round with the fight clearly already in his favor, Dos Santos mixed things up and took Carwin down twice, showing the former Division II wrestler that he had a few tricks up his sleeve.
“I’m training wrestling now. Be careful my opponents,” Dos Santos said with a smile after the fight.
Dos Santos showed why he is not only the top contender in the heavyweight division, but by far the biggest threat to cross UFC champion Cain Velasquez’s path.
“Much respect for Cain Velasquez, but Cain…I’m coming for you,” Dos Santos warned his next opponent.
While still recovering from shoulder surgery, Cain Velasquez stepped in the Octagon and congratulated Dos Santos, and will look forward to meeting the top rated challenger later this year.
“He showed awesome stand up just like he does in all his fights, always improving. He’s the No. 1 contender, I’m excited to fight somebody like this,” Velasquez commented.
UFC President Dana White stated prior to UFC 131 that the timeline they were hoping for to put Velasquez back in the cage wasn’t likely to work out and put a 4 to 5 month time range for the championship bout to take place.
All signs are pointing towards sometime in late October or November at the earliest, but now everyone knows Junior Dos Santos will be the man challenging Cain Velasquez for the title.