Written by: Jordan Minns
The heavyweight champion, Junior Dos Santos; and contenders Cain Velasquez & Alistair Overeem have established themselves as the top dogs in an extremely stacked division, the only thing left to decide is who will reign supreme. I will breakdown the match-ups Dos Santos-Velasquez, Dos Santos-Overeem, and Overeem-Velasquez in order to predict who will come out on top in this heavyweight power struggle.
First, let’s breakdown the match up between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez, set to take place in about a week. The first fight taught us two things about this match-up:
- Velasquez has the advantage at kickboxing range
- Dos Santos will KO Velasquez at boxing range
However, the first fight failed to answer the biggest question of all, which is “if Dos Santos can stop Cain’s take down”. This whole entire fight will be based on the takedown, if Cain is successful he will be able to dominate the fight, if not he will be vulnerable to Junior’s boxing and will face a fate similar to the first fight. Velasquez has to successfully mix ranged kickboxing with close clinching and take downs to gain victory.
If he is not aware of his critical distance he will step in Dos Santos’s boxing range, where he’s at a disadvantage. I give this fight to Dos Santos because I think he can stop enough of Cain’s takedowns to get in the right position to end the fight, but it is worth noting that JDS has never faced a wrestler like Cain and could be taken down and overwhelmed on the MMA ground game. Critical Distance and takedown defense is key in this fight.
Next, I will breakdown how JDS and Velasquez would fare against contender Alistair Overeem. JDS-Overeem is tough to call, pitting the clean, powerful, boxer Dos Santos against the massive kickboxing champion Overeem; this fight will surely end a KO. Overeem has the strength and diversity advantage in striking and therefore could easily overwhelm Dos Santos, but he could face problems when attempting clinch, like he did in his TKO loss in kickboxing to Badr Hari, and catch an uppercut or hook from Dos Santos.
I say JDS-Overeem is to close to call. I think the easiest fight to call is Velasquez-Overeem, Velasquez can’t stand with the kickboxing champ and Overeem’s size advantage should help keep it standing. I call this fight a first round KO for Overeem.
All of that being said, “I feel Dos Santos has the best chance of staying on top, his powerful boxing could KO both contenders”. “I also feel Cain is the odd man out, even if he manages to win against JDS he’ll face a tough fight with Overeem”. Be sure to watch Dos Santos-Velasquez 2 this Saturday, as it will surely affect the future of the heavyweight division.
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