Velasquez destroys Dos Santos in rematch

Published on Jan. 2, 2013, at 5:46 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

Cain Velasquez is the baddest man on the planet — again. Velasquez battered Junior dos Santos for 25 minutes en route to an easy unanimous-decision victory as a plus-160 underdog (risk $100 to win $160) in the main event at UFC 155 in Las Vegas this past Saturday night.

The judges scored it 50-45, 50-44 and 50-43. had it 50-44 for Velasquez.

Bets on the total went ‘over’ 1.5 rounds at a price in the minus-165 range.

Unlike the first meeting when Dos Santos was able to score a first-round knockout in 64 seconds at UFC on Fox 1, Velasquez came out and immediately utilized his wrestling skills. He kept the pressure on JDS, who had previously spent just 15 total seconds on his back in nine career Octagon appearances.

Velasquez executed 11 takedowns and landed 210 total strikes according to FightMetric. Although he was  dominated the entire 25 minutes, JDS never quit and took his beating like a true warrior.

These guys will fight for a third time at some point, but that won’t be anytime soon. If Alistair Overeem can get past Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva at UFC 156 next month, a Velasquez-Overeem matchup will most likely happen this summer.

In the co-main event, Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon went the distance in a bloodbath that’s a candidate for Fight of the Year honors. Miller collected the UD win by scores of 29-28 three times. BE Sports also had it 29-28 for Miller, who bloodied Lauzon early and often with strikes and elbows.

Miller easily won the first two rounds, but Lauzon took the final stanza and was nearly able to finish a pair of submission attempts in the final minute. Yet again, Lauzon took home bonus money for the Fight of the Night.

Miller hooked up his backers as a minus-220 ‘chalk.’

Here’s a look at the damage to Lauzon over the period of three days following the fight.

In the middleweight loop, Costa Philippou  ended a four-fight win streak for Tim Boetsch by capturing a third-round knockout victory. Phillipou hooked up his backers at around even money or as a small underdog at some books.

Chris Leben’s return from suspension was a disappointing one for ‘The Crippler’ and his betting supporters. Leben cost his backers as a minus-170 ‘chalk’ in unanimous-decision loss to Derek Brunson, who was making his Octagon debut.

Leben was clearly suffering from cage rust and didn’t seem to have much gas in the tank. Perhaps he deserves a mulligan after such a long layoff, but there are clearly signs that Leben’s best days are behind him.

Boetsch wasn’t the only middleweight to have a four-fight run halted. Yushin ‘Thunder’ Okami won a UD over Alan Belcher in a pick ’em matchup. The judges had it 30-27 twice and 29-28. BE Sports had it 29-28 in favor of Okami.

In what I considered to be the highlight of the free fights on the FX aspect of the card, Jamie Varner collected a crucial victory in a lightweight showdown vs. Melvin ‘The Young Assassin’ Guillard. Varner won by split decision as a small underdog in the plus-110 range at most spots.

The judges had it 30-27 twice for Varner and 30-27 once for Guillard. BESports had it 29-28 for Varner.

Guillard looked like he might pull out a miracle victory in the last 10 seconds but he was unable to finish a submission before the bell sounded.

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