TXMMA – Texas Mixed Martial Arts

UFC 166: Velasquez vs. dos Santos 3 – Fight-by-Fight Preview and Predictions

By TXMMA Staff | Photo by UFC.com, Zuffa LLC via Getty Images


UFC 166 brings heavyweight fight card to Houston’s Toyota Center this Saturday


22555f6c79d3a7cd738f9ae2ff961d98HOUSTON, TX, October 15, 2013 – The UFC returns to Houston’s Toyota Center for the third time overall and first time in two years this Saturday night, October 19th. Texas-sized as always when they come to town, UFC 166 is bring a heavyweight lineup including a heavyweight title fight in the main event.

Most notably, UFC 166: Velasquez vs. dos Santos 3 promises to bring closure to the latest divisional rivalry in the heavyweight division between current champion Cain Velasquez and former champion Junior dos Santos. The Brazilian (dos Santos) enters the bout as the only man to have ever beaten the popular Mexican-American fighter when they first fought on UFC’s FOX network debut back in November 2011. it was a loss he would avenge at UFC 155 this past December but business still remains unsettled with both men looking to break the tie in the UFC 166 main event.

The UFC 166 card also features another mammoth fight in the co-main event with UFC heavyweight title contender and former Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix winner Daniel Cormier taking on “Big Country” Roy Nelson in fan friendly bout that should set up a title contender for the winner of Velasquez-dos Santos down the line unless Cormier or Roy decide to drop to 205 lbs. following this fight to chase light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, which both have said is a possibility.

The rest of the main card includes bouts featuring former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez taking on TUF 1 vet Diego Sanchez along with another former contender in flyweight John Dodson taking on surging up-and-comer Darrell Montague. A heavyweight bout featuring Garbeil Gonzaga versus Shawn Jordan completes the UFC 166 main card.

See below for all bouts scheduled for ufc 166 this Saturday in Houston, tx.



265 lbs.: Cain Velasquez (12-1) vs. Junior dos Santos (16-2) <TITLE>
265 lbs.: Daniel Cormier (12-0) vs. Roy Nelson (19-8)
155 lbs.: Gilbert Melendez (21-3) vs. Diego Sanchez (24-5)
265 lbs.: Gabriel Gonzaga (15-7) vs. Shawn Jordan (15-4)
125 lbs.: John Dodson (14-2) vs. Darrell Montague (13-2)


UFC 166 PRELIMS (FOX Sports 1)

185 lbs.: Tim Boetsch (16-6) vs. C.B. Dollaway (13-4)
170 lbs.: Hector Lombard (32-4-1-1) vs. Nate Marquardt (32-12-2)
135 lbs.: Jessica Eye (11-1) vs. Sarah Kaufman (16-2)
155 lbs.: K.J. Noons (11-6) vs. George Sotiropoulos (14-5)


UFC 166 PRELIMS (Facebook)

155 lbs.: Adlan Amagov (12-2-1) vs. T.J. Waldburger (16-7)
145 lbs.: Tony Ferguson (13-3) vs. Mike Rio (9-2)
145 lbs.: Andre Fili (12-1) vs. Jeremy Larsen (8-4)
135 lbs.: Kyogi Horiguchi (10-1) vs. Dustin Pague (11-8)


UFC 166 Fight-by-Fight Preview and Predictions


Cain Velasquez (12-1) vs. Junior dos Santos (16-2)  

velasquez-vs-dos-santosIt’s hard to erase the sting of that last whooping Cain Velasquez put on Junior dos Santos to get his belt back at UFC 155. That was a dominating one-sided fight few were expecting but then again few expected Junior to lay Cain out within the first minute of their first encounter  either. This one should dispel all doubts about which of these two is the better man and deserves to be champion, for now.

In order for Junior dos Santos to perform better this time around he’s going to have make the necessary adjustments to deal with Cain’s wrestling and pace – something he should have done in training camp. Judging by his physique as of late, Junior seems to have cut out some weight and should be walking into this fight lean and ready for a protracted battle. If he bide more time to land his shots while taking Cain’s, he’s got a shot at this.

As for the champion, Cain Velasquez will have to do the same thing he always does, which is mix things up between his striking and ground-and-pound arsenal while scoring the takedowns in between. If he does that and does that effectively and well, then this should be his fight to take.

This rubber match between the two is going to be more competitive than either of their fights. It’s almost a pick-em considering both fighters have a shot to win if they can impose their will on the other but we see Cain as the slight favorite in this one.

Prediction: Cain Velasquez over Junior dos Santos by TKO, RD5


Daniel Cormier (12-0) vs. Roy Nelson (19-8)

Most people will be judging the competitiveness of this fight, or lack thereof, based on Roy Nelson’s last outing, a convincing decision loss to Stipe Miocic where his lone redeeming quality was the strength of his chin. He gets his chance at redeeming himself in this fight against arguably the top heavyweight contender in the world.

Daniel Cormier has done one thing and one thing well over the last few years and that’s win. Of course that’s oversimplifying things a bit considering he’s beaten the likes of Josh Barnett, Frank Mir and other top heavyweights but that’s really the type of fighter he is – one that does enough to get the job done without too leaving too much to chance.

Looking at this fight analytically, it should definitely be Cormier’s to lose. He’s the faster striker. Though his chin hasn’t been tested like Roy’s has, he’s plenty strong and can take a hit as well while possessing the wrestling acumen to keep the fight on the feet. Another factor to consider is weight loss with Cormier coming down (potentially in preparation to challenge 205 lbs. Jon Jones). He should come into this fight in much better shape than an also-slimmed down “Big Country” Nelson. As long as he can avoid Roy’s haymaker right hand this is his fight to lose.

Prediction: Daniel Cormier over Roy Nelson by unanimous decision


Gilbert Melendez (21-3) vs. Diego Sanchez (24-5)

“El Nino” Gilbert Melendez came into the UFC riding the wave of all his years of success in Strikeforce and walked straight into a tough fight versus former lightweight champion Benson Henderson. Though he lost that decision he still looked good and remains a contender. He’ll be facing someone else looking to come back up in TUF 1 vet Diego Sanchez.

Melendez is still a prime fighter and is stronger than Diego striking and wrestling. If it hits the floor it’s doubtful that Diego came put him in bad enough spots to submit him so this should be his fight to win.

Prediction: Gilbert Melendez over Diego Sanchez by by unanimous decision


Gabriel Gonzaga (15-7) vs. Shawn Jordan (15-4)

Gabriel Gonzaga impressed in his last fight by quickly dispatching much-maligned Dave Herman in all of 17 seconds. Meanwhile Shawn Jordan also impressed in his last bout knocking out Pat Barry in an under a minute.

A world champion BJJ stylist, Gabriel Gonzaga should have the considerable advantage if he decides to take this one to the ground but he’s also displayed a penchant to stand and brawl throughout his career so this one might be no different. The result of this bout might depend on which Gonzaga shows up but he should have the advantage regardless.

Prediction: Gabriel Gonzaga over Shawn Jordan by submission, RD2


John Dodson (14-6) vs. Darrell Montague (13-2)

A veteran of the regional Tachi Palace circuit, Darrell Montague has always been thought of as a top flyweight prospect but he’s only just now making his UFC debut. He’ll have tough going right off the bat when he takes on “The Wizard” John Dodson, another top contender who gave flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson a run for his money in their last fight.

Montague could prove to be a pretty decent addition to the UFC flyweight roster in the long run but John Dodson is one tough fight to have in your debut. Not a good situation for Montague.

Prediction: John Dodson over Darrell Montague by submission, RD3


UFC 166 Undercard Quick Picks

Tim Boetsch over C.B. Dollaway by unanimous decision

Hector Lombard over Nate Marquardt by TKO, RD2

Sarah Kaufman over Jessica Eye by majority decision

KJ Noons over George Sotiropoulos by TKO, RD2

TJ Waldburger over Adlan Amagov by submission, RD1

Tony Ferguson over Mike Rio by TKO, RD2

Andre Fili over Jeremy Larsen by unanimous decision

Kyoji Horiguchi over Dustin Pague by unanimous decision