Saturday, October 20, 2013 - Knockouts and dramatic were the messages sent during Saturday's UFC 166 as a number of bouts ended in highlight reel fashion. Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos would meet for the UFC heavyweight title for the third time in a contest that would help solidify their rivalry. Velasquez would come out the victor once again with a performance that put a stamp on a night of very high quality UFC action.
The main event placed Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez in the cage against each other for the third time and Velasquez would once again walk out with the title.
The bout started out a lot like their first contest as Junior clipped Cain right at the start but the former NCAA All American wrestler was able to return his own strikes and implement his wrestling game. Much of the fight would be Velasquez grinding away on Junior wearing him down with wrestling and strikes.
The bout was almost finished in the third round when Cain landed a huge shot that dropped the challenger. Dos Santos was able to get back to his feet but would continue to take punishment from the champion. The fight was almost stopped at the end of the fourth round, but the conclusion would come in the fifth round when dos Santos tried for a choke but a counter caused him to hit his head on the mat. Velasquez would look to finish but referee Herb Dean stepped in to call the contest.
Both Daniel Cormier and Roy Nelson are moving down to light heavyweight but before they could do so they would meet up in the heavyweight division. It would be Cormier's ability to transition from grappling to wrestling to dominate the former Ultimate Fighter champion.
Cormier never gave Nelson a chance to breath as he pressured him around the cage. Many of his strikes were landed in the clinch or during a break away, but Nelson was never able to get off any returns. The unanimous decision victory kept Cormier undefeated as he looks to move down to 205 and eventually challenge for the title.
Coming into UFC 166 many expected Diego Sanchez and Gilbert Melendez to steal the show. Well, that is exactly what the two former training partners did in their lightweight matchup.
Melendez and Sanchez immediately kept a pace that would have worn down much of the UFC roster. Every exchanged included shots landed by both fighters, but Melendez was able to score more often by landing the cleaner the strikes. An elbow in the first round allowed him to open up a nasty scar on Sanchez's head.
As the fight went one Sanchez would keep coming forward as the former Strikeforce champion would answer with multiple clean shots to the head and body. The third round would be intense as both competitors would stand in the middle of the Octagon and throw strikes until the final buzzer.
Gabriel Gonzaga used UFC 166 to remind fight fans that he has knockout power along with world class Jiu Jitsu as he stopped Shawn Jordan in the first round of their heavyweight tilt.
Jordan was coming in on a combination against a retreating Gonzaga. Gabriel answered with a counter right hand that landed squarely on Jordan's jaw and dropped him face down to the canvas at the 1:33 point of round one.
Jon Dodson opened the card to welcome in another highly ranked flyweight who was coming into the Octagon for the first time. Just like his bout against Jussier Da Silva; Dodson dropped the imported Darrell Montague in the first round of the fight and did so with a dramatic statement.
Dodson landed clean punches early and often in this bout as he dropped Montague with a left hand. Darrell was able to scramble to recover but when the fighters ended back up on their feet Dodson went back to work. Moments later he would land a right hand that would send Montague crashing to the canvas fast first. The fight would be stopped before Dodson can deliver any more damage as it was clear that Darrell was out.
UFC 166 from Houston, Texas was a very solid card from the start of the Facebook preliminaries. With eight finishes on the docket along with intense decisions, this was the type of showcase that would help create fans for the sport of mixed martial arts.
Full Fight Card Results
Cain Velasquez defeated Junior dos Santos via TKO in round five.
Daniel Cormier defeated Roy Nelson via unanimous decision
Gilbert Melendez defeated Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision.
Gabriel Gonzaga defeated Shawn Jordan via KO in round one.
Jon Dodson defeated Darrell Montague via KO in round one.
Tim Boetsch defeated C.B. Dollaway via split decision.
Hector Lombard defeated Nate Marquardt via TKO in round one.
Jessica Eye defeated Sarah Kaufman via split decision.
K.J. Noons defeated George Sotiropoulos via unanimous decision.
Adlan Amagov defeated T.J. Waldburger via KO in round one.
Tony Ferguson defeated Mike Rio via submission in round one.
Andre Fili defeated Jeremy Larson via TKO in round two.
Kyoji Horiguchi defeated Dustin Pague via TKO in round two.