PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

June 1, 2013

David Estrada column: Velasquez proves he's top UFC heavyweight

David Estrada
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — The second consecutive Memorial Day weekend UFC event was one to remember as

heavyweights collided to gain and maintain supremacy.

    For two years the UFC has    highlighted their New Year's weekend events with heavyweight fighters,

conveniently providing them five months of rest and training to align them with

the late May showdowns. It would be a shrewd move if the UFC maintained this

cycle.

    The main event of this UFC 160 card last weekend didn't surprise the hometown

Vegas oddsmakers. Reigning heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez made quick work

of challenger Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. Barely past a minute into the first

round Velasquez staggered Bigfoot with a left-right combination which dropped

him.

    The well-rounded champ worked for a guillotine submission then

transitioned to punches to earn a TKO victory.

    A side note about Bigfoot Silva – I've learned some athletes and people are

tailor-made for their nicknames. I met Bigfoot Silva at the 2011 Strikeforce

Heavyweight Grand Prix event in Dallas. With his size, appearance and gait he

cannot help but being called "Bigfoot."

    The other heavyweight attraction from UFC 160 featured former UFC heavyweight

champion Junior dos Santos against New Zealander Mark Hunt who got 11th hour

admittance into the USA after clearing visa issues.

    This was expected to be a striking clinic pitting Mark Hunt's world class K-1

two-dimensional kickboxing abilities against Junior dos Santos' one dimensional

upper body striking. Dos Santos has fought like a tree with its roots planted

firmly into the ground. Fans were surprised by the outcome.

    The fight went deep into the third round when dos Santos launched and

landed a spinning heel kick to the head of Hunt laying him out on the canvas.

He followed up with a punch and and got the victory by knockout. Going into the

bout people probably felt more likely to see a heel kick pulled off by a

magnolia rather than dos Santos.

    The UFC heavyweight picture is in a pickle now. Velasquez remains at the

top and dos Santos is now the number one contender after his victory.

But Velasquez and JDS have already fought – twice. A rubber match would be

nice but three fights in about a two year span is not very

enticing to fans.

    Another top heavyweight and fresh face to fight Velasquez is Strikeforce Grand

Prix winner Daniel Cormier. But there is a caveat. Cormier and Velasquez are

great friends who train together at American Kickboxing Academy. They have

stated they will not fight each other.

    There are other possible suitors to challenge further down the road such as

Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, and newly signed heavyweight Josh Barnett.

But for now fans are most likely looking at Velasquez vs. Dos Santos III in the

near future.

    David Estrada Jr. is a Mixed Martial Arts columnist for the Port Arthur News. He can be e-mailed at DavidEstrada@DavidEstrada.com