Cain Velasquez looked sensational in his UFC 155 title bid against Brazilian striking specialist Junior “Cigano” dos Santos.
For 25 minutes, Velasquez battered and overwhelmed dos Santos with a perfect blend of wrestling and striking, and “Cigano” had no answers and no chance at victory.
Cain was fast.
He was strong.
He was prepared.
Hold on there, sports fan.
Cain Velasquez was everything one could want in an elite fighter at UFC 155, and he definitively earned his champion status.
That said, there are several factors at play that prevent me from bestowing the “unstoppable” label upon the American Kickboxing Academy standout.
First off, he is in the wrong sport to be considered “unstoppable.”
Knee injury or no knee injury, his 64-second loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC on Fox I was indicative of what can happen at any point inside the Octagon. Even if Velasquez had two bionic, titanium-enforced knees in this bout, he still has a chin, and fists have a way of finding chins inside the cage.
Secondly, if any MMA fighter can be considered unstoppable, it shouldn’t be a heavyweight. This is the division where fighters are the most “stoppable,” and the division is full of one-shot knockout specialists.
Guys like Frank Mir and Fabricio Werdum, who aren’t known for their striking power (but certainly pack a punch), are Brazilian jiu-jitsu experts and among the best in the sport at snagging chokes and destroying limbs.
In my eyes, calling any mixed martial artist unstoppable is a stretch, but when we’re talking heavyweights, it’s downright absurd.
Another factor not in Cain’s favor is the increasing depth of the heavyweight division.
It’s not like Cain is the MMA equivalent of LeBron James and just defeated Kevin Durant in a game of one-on-one, and now has to only face a handful of BrianScalabrines to close out his career. He has Kobe coming for him. Dwight Howard is on the horizon, as is Carmelo Anthony. Oh, and the Kevin Durant he just beat? He’ll be back.
The top 10 of the heavyweight division is incredibly volatile, and nobody can hold the belt because of these factors.
One punch can, and does, change everything, especially when 250-pound behemoths are slinging the leather.
Put simply, Cain Velasquez was almost perfect against Junior dos Santos at UFC 155, but he is still far from unstoppable. There are too many factors at work to dispel this notion, and the odds of him winning out in his MMA career are painfully slim.
Velasquez is seemingly perfect, but so was the Titanic. Hell, so was Junior dos Santos just before him.
And we all saw how that worked out.