Friday, September 2, 2011
Cain Velasquez faces Junior dos Santos
By Franklin McNeil ESPN.com
UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will defend his title Nov. 12 against top contender Junior dos Santos, UFC president Dana White said during a conference call Friday.
"We are going with the most prestigious championship in all of sports: the heavyweight title," White said during a conference call. "So on Nov. 12 at Honda Center [in Anaheim, Calif.], Cain Velasquez will take on Junior dos Santos."
The fight will air on Fox at 9 p.m. ET. Velasquez-dos Santos will be the first UFC bout ever on network television and the only bout aired by Fox that evening.
This will mark the first title defense for Velasquez, who earned the belt in October 2010 with a first-round TKO of Brock Lesnar. Velasquez will enter the cage with a professional mark of 9-0.
"Very excited to be the first @ufc [fighter] on Fox," Velasquez said via his Twitter account. "I can't wait."
Dos Santos defeated Shane Carwin by unanimous decision in June to become the No. 1 heavyweight contender.
"If he knocks me down 10 times, I will rise 10 times," dos Santos told ESPN Brazil. "But if I knock him down once, he won't be able to be on his feet again."
UFC and Fox Sports Media Group announced a seven-year deal on Aug. 18. Under the agreement, which officially starts in January 2012, four UFC events per year will air on Fox.
Fox affiliate FX will show 32 events per year, including 24 official airings of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series.
With the UFC-Fox deal officially set to begin next year, White has referred to the Nov. 12 card as a "bonus."
Franklin McNeil covers mixed martial arts and boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Franklin_McNeil. ESPN Brazil editor Thiago Arantes contributed to the report.