Velasquez basically repeated his performance from their second fight, outwrestling dos Santos and repeatedly punishing him with punches and elbows throughout the five-round battle. However, his time "Cigano" couldn’t handle the pressure and the fight was stopped with two minutes left in the clock.
"It was a surprise for me," Yuri Carlton, dos Santos’ jiu-jitsu coach, told MMAFighting.com. "We couldn’t execute what we planned. We wanted to avoid the clinch close to the fence, we knew what Cain Velasquez was planning but he did it. He wore out Junior, took his energy and strength.
"We recognize the loss and congratulate Cain Velasquez," he continued. "'Cigano' will come back stronger and will work hard to fix his game. The whole team lost on Saturday, not only ‘Cigano’. The whole team is in pain right now."
After the battle, UFC president Dana White said the fight should have been stopped in the third round, but Carlton said none of his corners even considered throwing in the towel as White suggested.
"To be honest, I never considered throwing in the towel," he said. "If something like that ever happens, Luiz Carlos Dorea (boxing coach) would be the one to decide. I was hoping for the knockout all the time. In the fifth round, 'Cigano’ went for that choke. Anything can happen. We see a guy lose the whole fight and then win in the last round. It happens all the time. We're not impressed by blood or anything like that, neither is ‘Cigano’. He always fights for the win, no matter what.
"He always tries that submission in the gym, and he submits a lot of sparring partners here with it," Carlton said about dos Santos’ submission attempt seconds before the end of the fight. "He went for it automatically. Cain Velasquez rolled to defend and ‘Cigano’ felt with his face on the ground and couldn’t fight anymore. But even if he didn’t hit his head on the ground he wouldn’t win anyway, it wouldn’t change the fight. He was already beat. We hoped he could land a good punch even if he was completely tired, but it didn’t happen."
After the fight, Combate reported that dos Santos thought the fight was stopped in the second round, although Carlton said the heavyweight never mentioned it to him.
"After the second round, he was fighting in the autopilot mode but he didn’t tell me he thought he lost in the second round," he said. "But that’s normal. Sometimes you go out with a punch or a good elbow but keep fighting automatically. That’s normal."
Junior dos Santos has been fighting at least twice a year since his MMA debut in 2006, and his coach wants him to take some time off for the first time in his career to give his body some rest.
"’Cigano’ really loves to train, he does it all day, but I believe he should take some time off," Carlton said. "He works hard not only in training, he has to do a lot of media work for the UFC. It’s hard to get him out of the gym for a vacation, but I’ll try to force him to do it. He’s so young and people put so much pressure on him. He’s always anxious to fight, but he needs some time off."