21 of the biggest rivalries in MMA history [UPDATED]

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference
UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference / Steven Ryan/GettyImages
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Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos

To be called the “Baddest Man on the Planet” is an honor that comes along with holding the UFC heavyweight title. In the history of the UFC, the biggest and baddest men on the roster often have the hardest punches and the most eyes on them. One man that has been known for some time now as the best heavyweight to have ever stepped foot in the UFC Octagon is Cain Velasquez.

Velasquez has had six title fights in the UFC and half of them were against Junior dos Santos.Dos Santos burst on the UFC scene back in 2008 and immediately turned heads. He went on a seven-fight winning streak before earning his first title shot against champion Cain Velasquez. At the time Velasquez had defeated some of the toughest guys in the division, including Brock Lesnar to win his first UFC title. The two were set to meet on the first-ever UFC on Fox card. At the time only the main event was to air on television. Dos Santos came out strong and put Velasquez away in round one by KO.

The rematch was set a year later at UFC 155. This time it was Velasquez who outworked dos Santos and secured the unanimous decision victory. As with most cases of fighters spitting wins, and being talented enough to stay at the top of the division, these two were matched up for the third time. The trilogy fight took place on Oct. 19, 2013.

Velasquez was once again victorious, this time by way of TKO in the fifth round.

Velasquez has since retired from MMA and Junior dos Santos fought for Eagle FC in 2022, but lost that outting.