UFC heads to Vegas
December 29, 2012
Sportsbook.ag UFC 155 Preview
Junior dos Santos (15-1) vs. Cain Velasquez (10-1)
Sportsbook.ag Line: dos Santos -200, Velasquez +160
Cain Velasquez will get his chance to reclaim the heavyweight belt from Junior dos Santos, who took it from him just over a year ago, as the lead fight on UFC 155 Saturday night in Las Vegas.
When these two last fought, it didn't last long as a fury of dos Santos punches ended the bout in just 64 seconds, marking the first and only loss of Velasquez's career. Since then, both have been victorious in one bout. Dos Santos earned a TKO against Frank Mir, marking his 10th consecutive victory, while Velasquez made easy work of Antonio Silva with powerful punches of his own. Ultimately, the one certainty in this fight appears to be the fact that it will end early-both of these fighters are knockout machines that have the potential to end this with one good set. Dos Santos won that way the last time out, but Velasquez showed he still has that dominant potential with his victory against Silva, as good of a competitor as there is out there.
Of dos Santos' 10 consecutive victories, seven have been knockouts, and nearly all of those as a result of the powerful punches he packs. The past few fights have demonstrated his excellent boxing skills, with striking making up the majority of his attacking style. In his victory against Mir, that was apparent, as he was able to keep the bout, almost in its entirety, on his feet, where he was able to outbox and pound Mir into a TKO. But "Cigano" dos Santos is also trained in Jiu-Jitsu and at 6-foot-4, holds a three-inch height advantage over Velasquez.
It has been reported since the previous bout between these two fighters that Velasquez reinjured a rotator cuff that he had previously torn a week prior to the dos Santos bout. Such a minor difference could have proved critical in a fight against dos Santos, who is good enough to exploit any opponent who is not at 100 percent. But now that the 6-foot-1 Velasquez is reportedly in peak physical condition for this rematch, he should be able to give dos Santos a run for his money as arguably the most well-rounded heavyweight out there. He can hang with dos Santos boxing, but also potentially force him to the ground where things can get messy and anybody can earn a quick TKO. Velasquez, like dos Santos, is a master of the knockout-nine of his 10 career wins have come that way.
Jim Miller (21-4) vs. Joe Lauzon (22-7)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Miller -200, Lauzon +160
In the only lightweight bout on UFC 155's main card, Joe Lauzon will look to upset Jim Miller.
Miller is coming off a crucial loss to Nate Diaz that would have potentially set him on track for a title bout. The once highly touted, up-and-comer will have another tough fight this time in Lauzon, who is coming off a win against Jamie Varner. Both of these fighters are as good as it gets for never having had a shot to earn the title. A win here will propel one of them to potentially get a shot at Benson Henderson, who beat Miller just two fights before winning the lightweight crown. Ultimately, even though Miller has lost two of his past three bouts, he has fought better competition and is now more ready to beat up on a fighter like Lauzon who is exciting to watch, but not as technically sound as some others.
Miller should consider himself lucky in this one-he was originally set to face Gray Maynard, who had to pull out because of an injury. Miller has lost two of his past three fights-falling to Henderson and Diaz-but beat Melvin Guillard in between. Before the loss to Henderson, Miller had won seven consecutive bouts, all a part of UFC. A dangerous boxer, wrestler and Jiu-Jitsu artist, 12 of Miller's 21 career wins have been submissions, adding three knockouts. Three of Lauzon's seven career losses have been submission and it looks like this bout could be headed that way, ending before the final bell.
Lauzon has won three of his past four bouts, including a win against Guillard. But he also hasn't seen the top-notch fighters like Henderson and Diaz to prepare him for a fight like this. He too likes to win via submission: 18 of his 22 career wins have come that way. Miller's loss to Diaz was a submission, but Miller should be able to prepare well against Lauzon, who is less of a multi-dimensional fighter. If Lauzon cannot get an early submission here, it will be tough for him to walk out of the Octagon a winner, no matter how exciting he is sure to make the fight.
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