UFC 155: Junior dos Santos Shows the True Face of Courage in Cain Velasquez Loss
Heart of a champion. Beaten, but not broken. Every sport needs a rivalry. It brings out the best in em. They will meet again.
Thirty minutes after entering the cage against challenger Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos was smiling. His face may have been grotesquely swollen. He may have just endured a five-round beating for the ages. He may have just lost his UFC title and spot as the world's most dangerous man—but Cain Velasquez couldn't take away his grin, the unabashed smile of a young boy up to no good.
The story in the aftermath of UFC 155, both here at Bleacher Report and on websites across the world, is the return of Velasquez, an amazing fighter who regained the heavyweight title by administering a brutal beating to the man who had knocked him out and embarrassed him on national television in the UFC's Fox debut last year.
And rightfully so. There's a lot to unpack with a Velasquez win, plenty to parse—everything from wrestling's rise back to the top of the martial arts pack to Cain's role in reaching out to the teeming masses of Hispanic boxing fans whom the UFC hopes will embrace the sport's first Mexican-American champion. Cain, despite his dead eyes and even deader soundbites, is good copy.
But the image that remains for me, long after they've finally soaked up all of Joe Lauzon's blood and the remnants of dos Santos's battered pride and packed the UFC Octagon away for the next show, is the deposed champion's bravery and resilience.
Velasquez was unyielding for 25 minutes, but really it was a punch in the first five-minute round that ended the night for dos Santos, a crushing right hand that took advantage of Junior's propensity to back away with his hands down and his chin up.
Everything that came after was just mop up duty. Dos Santos was a dead man walking, never quite regaining his equilibrium, standing there and receiving punishment.
And though Velasquez's legendary cardio faltered a bit after three rounds, he never stopped coming forward, a fistic robot with the intensity set on high. Punch after punch, takedown after takedown (Velasquez set a UFC record with 11) and minutes of grinding his head into Junior's against the fence, and Velasquez still couldn't make the champion quit.
As the minutes counted down to zero, the enduring image wasn't Velasquez and his quiet competence and well-rounded game. It was dos Santos rising again and again to his feet, refusing the easy way out. Fighting.
As strange as it sounds, it's a rare thing to see in this business. Most men, when faced with that kind of onslaught, are happy to let the officials come running to their rescue, not exactly quitting, but not upset that the fight is called to a stop either. It's human instinct—living to fight another day.
Thoughts on the crowd booing Dos Santos post-fight?
That was horrible. He deserved their respect.
Booing is a crowd's right.
I booed him too. Bad performances don't deserve celebration.
Not the right thing, but the crowd was driven by nationalism.
Burn Vegas down!
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Whatever is inside Junior dos Santos, it isn't anything resembling "normal." And make no mistake about it: We may call it courage and sing his praises, but it's horrible for him as a human being. After all, while the ancients may have celebrated warriors in song, the dirge is always about a dead man.
None of that makes it any less admirable. What dos Santos did at UFC 155 is unimaginable. It's easy to picture yourself as Velasquez, the hero who administers the beating, the Jason Statham of the cage, maybe even smirking out a wisecrack or two in the corner after propelling your fists into your enemy's head again and again.
What's harder is imagining yourself as dos Santos. In the midst of your greatest professional failure, in the middle of an extended beating that would have made viewers of Django Unchained grimace, to get back up. Even better, get back up and smile.
Cain Velasquez is a great fighter. But based on what I saw last night, Junior dos Santos is more than that. He's a great man.
Thanks for your wonderful post,
When you read about what media is saying, you thank that JDS did nothing!!! But when you watch the fight? You know that he did more than anyone could have done!
He took some punches that if they landed on two guys, will KTFOTO !!! And they booed him just becoz hes BRAZILIAN!!
Anyway, Cain is a great fighter, he deserved his win. JDS has to go back and prepare well for his next fight, he did a huge mistake in this fight, I'll talk about it in another post.
Graciace Junior, hard luck man, its only the begining, and congrats to Cain and his lovers.
Both fighters deserve a parade.
Appreciate the comment on the post. It's a great read, surprised more havn't posted up on it.
Cain did the same beatdown against all of his other fights resulting in a TKO or KO. JDS withstood it for a very long five rounds. I asked for championships rounds and we got it. The crowd should be happy he gave them their moneys worth!
People were booing Dos Santos because I guarantee a lot of them lost a lot of money on him. Dos Santos has the heart of a lion but he probably lost someone their house.
It is very true JDS taking that loss and just standing up and saying he'd be back showed far more than the actual fight.
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I think Cain is the third fighter to have regained his belt; GSP and Couture.
PS: Yah good point on peeps losing their bets. That would warrant some boos I'd imagine.
Anyway, don't put 100% of the blame on the fans/crowed. You need to blame the MEDIA!!!!
When you hear Joe Rogan say: This is the true Cain we all know
He makes you feel as if that first fight JDS's win was a fluke !!! How can a man say that? The guy sent the current champion to the ground with his face to it, and Joe says this is the true Cain? Which makes Junior what?
Also, when you read posts talking about what Cain did, and how he did it. You didn't hear what JDS did! Why ? Just because he lost? What if JDS managed to reverse that fight and take the W? Will the media then say that Cain did great? Or will they talk Bulls***t about him and how JDS won?
Man, it all goes back to how the media is marketing stuff to the HUMAN MIND, this age its all about:
1- Who controls the media
2- How to use that media to MIND CONTROL the audiance !!
What a shame, a fighter like JDS takes no credit for what he has done, even though he managed to finish the fight without loosing faith in himself, or giveup like others do. He was a true champion, from heart to soul.
I love this type of fighters, who come in and do all what they are supposed to do. They fight to the end, NEVER call it an end! JDS, Carlos Condit, etc, they are what make the octagon a fighting ground for fighters.
Again, congrats to Cain, he deserved the belt and the W. But I'm sure JDS will come back stronge. He did a HUGE MISTAKE with turning that fat he had to muscles!!!
Again, thanks for your post, and thanks for JDS and Cain for such a fight. Its for History!
I 100% agree with the article. I have been feeding the forum trolls the exact same story all morning.
Amazing fight for Cigano. I love win streaks and perfect fights as much as anyone, but what I love even more is a true fighter. Junior has fulfilled the streak and perfect fights bit early in his career but now, much as I suspected, he's earned his colors as a warrior at heart. I don't care who you are, this boy is not to be trifled with. Recovering towards the end? Smiling after the fight? Wow.
My new sig's day are limited =)
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