Dos Santos claims Velasquez's UFC belt

Dos Santos claims Velasquez's UFC belt
November 15, 2011, 3:32 pm
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By GREG BEACHAM
, AP Sports WriterANAHEIM, California (AP) -- Junior Dos Santos stopped Cain Velasquez just 1:04 into their heavyweight title bout to claim Velasquez's belt in UFC's debut on U.S. network television. Dos Santos hit Velasquez with an overhand right early in the first round, sending the previously unbeaten champion to the canvas. The Brazilian challenger then jumped on top of Velasquez, who defended himself briefly before finally succumbing to Dos Santos' relentless blows. "All of my fights, I look for the knockout," said Dos Santos (14-1), who burst into tears in the cage. "My coach used to tell me I've got heavy hands, so I tried to find a time to use them. It's good to use my power, and that worked today." The national television audience got a taste of MMA's violence, but not much else in the incredibly short fight. The UFC signed a seven-year broadcast deal with the Fox Network earlier this year.

UFC President Dana White chose these two fighters for the network debut because of the high potential for a stoppage victory, but White probably wasn't thrilled with just how quickly that stoppage arrived. Velasquez (9-1) apologized to his fans after the bout, saying the punch disrupted his equilibrium. There was almost no action before Dos Santos' decisive blow except a takedown attempt by Velasquez that was thwarted by Dos Santos. "I just want to say sorry to all my fans, family and friends. I disappointed you," said Velasquez, who agreed with the referee's decision to stop the fight. "I'm much more than this. I will be back, and I will get that belt back." Velasquez hadn't fought since October 2010, when he claimed the belt from Brock Lesnar. After undergoing surgery to repair his torn rotator cuff, Velasquez knew he had a tough comeback fight against Dos Santos, who had won eight straight bouts. Dos Santos earned the title shot with a victory over Shane Carwin in Vancouver in June. His next opponent is expected to be the winner of the bout between Lesnar and Alistair Overeem in Las Vegas on Dec. 30. "Doesn't matter who's going to be my next opponent," he said. "I'm not thinking about that right now. I want to go back to Brazil and make a big, big barbecue for my family and all my partners." Like Velasquez, Dos Santos took up MMA relatively late, turning pro at 21 in 2006. His only loss came against Joaquim Ferreira in November 2007, but he has rarely even been in trouble in a fight since. Exactly 18 years to the day after the UFC debuted with an eight-man tournament featuring no weight classes and one-round fights to the finish with almost no rules, MMA's dominant promotional company kicked off its long-anticipated major television contract with its first live prime-time show. Most of the broadcast was taken up by a primer on MMA and the two fighters, along with more post-fight analysis than expected.