Velasquez looks to regain heavyweight title at UFC 155

Junior dos Santos, right, of Brazil, takes down Cain Velasquez in the UFC mixed martial arts heavyweight title bout in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. Dos Santos won by knockout in the first round. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)
Junior dos Santos, right, of Brazil, takes down Cain Velasquez in the UFC mixed martial arts heavyweight title bout in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. Dos Santos won by knockout in the first round. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) ends the year with the heavyweight championship on the line this Saturday, Dec. 29. Cain Velasquez looks to regain his title in a rematch against Junior Dos Santos. Local New Orleans native Melvin Guillard will also be on the undercard facing Jamie Varner. This fight was previously scheduled for Dec. 15, but Varner became ill and the fight was postponed.

Biloxi, Miss. native Alan Belcher will be on the main card as well.

The main card of UFC 155 will be shown on Pay-Per-View and the undercard will be aired for free on cable television and via live stream on Facebook.

Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez

Junior Dos Santos – Santa Catarina, Brazil, 6-4, 240 pounds, 15-1-0
Cain Velasquez – Yuma, Ariz., 6-1, 240 pounds, 10-1-0

Cain Velasquez looks to redeem the only loss of his career against the man that took his heavyweight title belt. Dos Santos knocked Velasquez out in the first round, quickly ending his short stint as the heavyweight champion. Up until that point, Velasquez looked virtually unstoppable, destroying just about everyone he fought. He basically cleaned out the heavyweight division on his way to a title shot with Brock Lesnar, a fight in which Velasquez won by knocking out Lesnar in the first round.

Velasquez was on top of the world.

Unfortunately, the one legitimate contender left in the division that Velasquez hadn’t faced was Dos Santos. Dos Santos wasn’t quite wreaking havoc in the division, but he was beating everyone he faced. For this reason, it was shocking to see such a one-sided affair as Dos Santos knocked out Velasquez in just over a minute in the first round.

To say that Velasquez was humbled in that first bout would be an understatement.

Dos Santos by Unanimous Decision

Jim Miller vs. Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon

Jim Miller – Sparta, N.J., 5-8, 155 pounds, 21-4-0
Joe Lauzon – Brockton, Mass., 5-10, 155 pounds, 22-7-0

Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon are two lightweight journeymen trying to get back into the title hunt. These fighters are very well-rounded and have little or no weaknesses. Their ground game is just as good as their standup. This will be a great fight with the potential of being an early Fight of the Night candidate.

Lauzon by Unanimous Decision

Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch vs. Costa Philippou

Tim Boetsch – Lincolnville, Maine, 6-0, 185 pounds, 16-4-0
Costa Philippou – Limassol, Cyprus, 5-11, 185 pounds, 11-2-0

Fan favorite Tim Boetsch looks to keep his momentum going. He won his last four fights including a huge win against Top 10 middleweight Hector Lombard, who was making his much anticipated UFC debut.

If Boetsch wins this fight, he can name himself in the elite of the middleweight division. This would be a great win for him and the UFC as Boetsch is very exciting to watch with his freakish strength and last minute wins by knockout. He has a lightweight frame of mind in a middleweight body.

However, Costa Philippou will also be coming in with a four fight win streak in the UFC. Philippou’s resume even includes a recent win over “Ultimate Fighter” 11 winner Court McGee. This will be a huge step in the right direction for the winner of this bout.

Boetsch by TKO (Strikes)

Yushin “Thunder” Okami vs. Alan “The Talent” Belcher

Yushin Okami – Kanagawa, Japan, 6-2, 185 pounds, 28-7-0
Alan Belcher – Jonesboro, Ark., 6-2, 185 pounds, 17-5-0

Alan Belcher has won his past four fights and is looking to keep making his way to a title shot with Anderson Silva. In fact, he has only lost one bout in the past three years, and that was against Yoshihiro Akiyama by split decision.

If Belcher wants to be in immediate talks for a title shot, he needs to dominate Yushin Okami, who is unanimously ranked as a Top 10 fighter in the middleweight division.

Belcher by Submission (Rear Naked Choke)

Chris “The Crippler” Leben vs. Derek Brunson

Chris Leben – Portland, Hawaii, 5-11, 185 pounds, 22-8-0
Derek Brunson – Wilmington, N.C., 6-1, 185 pounds, 9-2-0

A great way to start off any card is with Chris Leben. The fierce brawler will face off against newcomer Derek Brunson. Brunson is training at Jackson’s MMA Submission camp, so he has great trainers behind him. However, I can’t be too impressed with someone who has been knocked out by Ronaldo Souza. This could be a baptism by fire for Brunson, but with the UFC there are no easy fights. If Brunson cannot get this to the ground immediately, he could be in serious trouble.

Leben by TKO (Strikes)

Undercard:

Brad “One Punch” Pickett vs. Eddie Wineland

Wineland by Unanimous Decision

Erik “Goyito” Perez vs. Byron Bloodworth

Perez by TKO (Strikes)

Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard vs. Jamie “C-4” Varner

Guillard by Knockout

Michael “The Menace” Johnson vs. Myles Jury

Johnson by TKO (Strikes)

Phil De Fries vs. Todd Duffee

Duffee by Knockout

Chris “Kamikaze” Cariaso vs. John Moraga

Cariaso by Split Decision