HOUSTON (AP) — UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos will meet for the final fight in their heavyweight trilogy Saturday night in UFC 166.
And whatever the outcome, Velasquez said he won't fight Dos Santos again — at least not anytime soon. "I think it will be settled for a while," Velasquez said. "I won't say that I won't fight him in five years or so because that could be a possibility."
But he does enjoy the rivalry they've had over the last couple of years. "It's good to have an opponent like that that's always pushing you to get better," Velasquez said. Velasquez reclaimed the belt from Dos Santos with a decisive unanimous decision in UFC 155 in December. It was the first loss for Dos Santos since November 2007.
Velasquez is expecting Dos Santos to take a different approach in this one. "I think his biggest adjustments will have to be his pace — not just backing up," Velasquez said. "I think him being more aggressive. I think the only thing different he could do is to be more aggressive."
Dos Santos said he made a lot of mistakes in the last fight and he's studied them to correct the problems before Saturday's bout. "The past fights are going to help me a lot because I learned from that," Dos Santos said. "I think the biggest challenge is going to be to stop him. He walks forward all the time and we have to take care of that."
Dos Santos (15-3-0) took the title from Velasquez in the first meeting in November 2011 with a knockout in 64 seconds. It remains the only career loss for Velasquez, who is 12-1-0. "If you look at my UFC fights, most of them I knock them out very fast and it happened with him, too," Dos Santos said. "The second fight he showed a little bit of who he is. He put on some pressure, made me tired and won the fight. That's what he does very well. Now we're going to see which one works better, my style or his style."
Velasquez is looking to guard against Dos Santos landing that one big punch because he believes that's the only way Dos Santos can win. Seven of Dos Santos's victories in the UFC have come by knockout, which is tied for second-most in heavyweight history.
"I think that's the case, landing that one punch," Velasquez said when asked how Dos Santos could win. "We've got to use our game plan to fight him. Just be aggressive and in his face all the time and just take that away from him."
The Brazilian-born Dos Santos is a big fan of boxing and hopes Saturday's fight helps this trilogy live up to some of the fabled trilogies in boxing history. "I want to be one of those," he said. "Years after this fight people will be talking about us, but I want people to talk about Junior Dos Santos more."
The co-main event at the Toyota Center, home the NBA's Houston Rockets, will feature former Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier against Roy Nelson in a heavyweight matchup. Cormier is undefeated and Nelson is one of six fighters in UFC history to knock out two or more opponents in less than a minute each.
Also on the card is UFC lightweight contender and former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez against former Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Sanchez. Gabriel Gonzaga takes on Shawn Jordan in a heavyweight fight, and flyweights John Dodson and Darrell Montague round out the competition.