For Cain Velasquez, revenge was a dish served cold. One year after suffering a 64-second knockout loss at the hands of Junior dos Santos, Velasquez decided to spread out his vengeance, going all 25 minutes in a surprisingly one-sided romp over his rival at UFC 155.
By the end of the violence, dos Santos was cut, bruised and had a serious hematoma on the right side of his face.
"Tonight he was better than me," dos Santos said afterward.
The stats agreed. According to FightMetric, Velasquez out-landed him 210-66, and scored more strikes in every round.
For at least the first half of the first round, there was drama, as Velasquez spent time flailing at dos Santos' legs, trying to take him to the mat. dos Santos denied him at first, but the fight's complexion changed soon after Velasquez dropped the champ with a right hand.
dos Santos was badly hurt, and Velasquez looked for the finish with left hands from the top, but dos Santos gamely held on to the horn.
He never truly recovered though. While he had occasional moments, landing some body punches, he never put Velasquez in any real jeopardy. Meanwhile, Velasquez kept his usual relentless pace, scoring a stunning 11 takedowns during the bout. Heading into the fight, dos Santos had only been taken down twice in his UFC career and held down for a combined total of 13 seconds.
He had also never lost a round, but against Velasquez (11-1), he was shut out, though he did fight bravely and fought closer rounds in the fourth and fifth than he did in the opening three frames.
Afterward, dos Santos (15-2) promised to be a thorn in Velasquez's side.
"Cain Velasquez, like you said, I'm going to come back and I'm going to take my belt again," he said.
But for one night, it was Velasquez's coronation. One year after an embarrassing loss, he was spectacular, and he was again, the champion.
"It feels so good to get this," said the new champ, same as the old champ.