The pre-fight narrative heading into UFC 166 relayed that if Junior dos Santos was going to defeat Cain Velasquez in their rubber match, the heavyweight needed to keep his distance and put his punishing striking game to use. Other than landing some hard shots here and there, however, once again dos Santos was smothered and beaten by the champ, and was eventually stopped in round five.
Depending on who you talk to, what went down Saturday night wasn’t too shocking, considering the vaunted wrestling and grappling skills of Velasquez. One person who expected a different result, not surprisingly, was “Cigano’s” jiu jitsu coach Yuri Carlton, who recently told MMA Fighting.com the following:
“It was a surprise for me,” said Carlton. “We couldn’t execute what we planned. We wanted to avoid the clinch close to the fence, we knew what Cain Velasquez was planning but he did it. He wore out Junior, took his energy and strength.”
That he did, although as mentioned, by the end of the bout it was clear that Velasquez’s face had taken some strikes as well. After the brutal fight, UFC boss Dana White argued that the bout could have been stopped in round three; “Cigano’s” corner was obviously hoping for a comeback.
“To be honest, I never considered throwing in the towel,” Carlton said. “If something like that ever happens, Luiz Carlos Dorea (boxing coach) would be the one to decide. I was hoping for the knockout all the time. In the fifth round, ‘Cigano’ went for that choke. Anything can happen. We see a guy lose the whole fight and then win in the last round. It happens all the time. We’re not impressed by blood or anything like that, neither is ‘Cigano’. He always fights for the win, no matter what.”
Now it remains to be seen what the UFC has planned for dos Santos, but in the mean time, Carlton believes the former champ should take some time off.
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