Junior dos Santos bloodied Shane Carwin to take a three round unanimous decision and earn a title shot against UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez at UFC 131. Velasquez, who crushed Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 to take the title, will be making his first title defense. After the win dos Santos communicated a message to the champ.
"Much respect to Cain Velasquez, but Cain, I'm coming for you," he said after the bout to UFC announcer Joe Rogan.
Dos Santos fought like a heavyweight champion in his three round demolition of Shane Carwin. He out-worked, out-landed, out-slugged, out-stepped, and out-hurt Shane Carwin in tonight's headliner. Giving up almost 20lbs of mass against Carwin, dos Santos came forward relentlessly and beat up Carwin badly over three rounds. By the end of the boxer dos Santos was repeatedly taking down former wrestling champion Shane Carwin to show utter dominance in every aspect of the fight.
In the first round dos Santos fended off Carwin's single leg take down to get quickly back to his feet. Then he began to box with Carwin and it was quickly clear that he had significant advantages in reach, footwork and speed. Beginning with hard left hooks he finally hurt Carwin badly. Dos Santos went for the kill, at one point even looking over to Herb Dean and asking for a stoppage without even pausing in his busy battery. But it wasn't enough to snuff out Carwin and dos Santos never came that close to finishing Carwin again.
Round two saw Carwin gamely come back, tagging dos Santos with a left hand and scoring a take down. it wasn't enough though and dos Santos turned the tide back in his favor with a partially blocked hard high kick. After that the constant batterly for the remainder of the fight would bloody Carwin and break his nose in the process.
Dos Santos put a seal on his dominance in the third. Crushing left hooks, jabs and uppercuts cut up Carwin badly enough to require a doctor's review fo the damage. Take downs toward the end of the round sealed the deal.
The Cain Velasquez that crushed Brock Lesnar a few months ago would be an extremely formidable mountain for dos Santos to climb, Fans can only hope that the champ won't be diminished by a 90% tear of the rotator cuff and the subsequent surgery.
A Velasquez-dos Santos title tilt will establish without a doubt the UFC's best heavyweight and should be a treat. Both fighters are young, quick, well-conditioned and skilled in all aspects of the game. They've both been tested in tough fights and made short work of the division's best.
Junior dos Santos has plenty of time to enjoy tonight's victory and prepare for the challenge ahead.