With a heavyweight title shot on the line, Junior dos Santos came out and proved he wanted it.
Dos Santos continually hammered Roy Nelson, earning his shot at the winner of the October Brock Lesnar/Cain Velasquez championship bout.
The two touch gloves to open the evening. Dos Santos misses with a huge hook. Nelson keeping his defenses high and tight. Hook lands for Nelson. He pushes dos Santos against the cage. They move from one side of the cage to the other still clinched. Dos Santos breaks with a knee up the middle. They each connect on a jab. Uppercut rockes Nelson. Dos Santos swinging away. Nelson hanging in there but dos Santos is going to town. Nelson survives for now. Dos Santos teeing away on Nelson on the fence and he backs off. Another uppercut hurts Nelson. He's diving for a leg. Thai clinch and knees for dos Santos. Nelson fires back. Crowd going crazy as Nelson stays in it. Dos Santos too fast here. Uppercut again for dos Santos. Knee to the body. Nelson fires with a right. It's uppercuts for dos Santos against overhand right bombs for Nelson. Nelson lands. Dos Santos lands and sends Nelson reeling as the round ends.
Striding knee to the body for dos Santos. Nelson sends dos Santos back with a right. He doesn't fully connect on the follow. Nelson with another right. Dos Santos is slowing. Left for Nelson. Two body shots for dos Santos. Another. Dos Santos cut under the eye. Nelson goes for the takedown but the cage saves dos Santos from going down. Clinch against the cage now. It is now a mouse under the eye of dos Santos. Dos Santos goes for a takedown but it's immediately stuffed. Nelson also slowing down. Nice hook for dos Santos. Dos Santos picking up the pace as the round comes to an end. Nelson takedown stuffed as the round ends.
Third round underway and a kick lands for dos Santos. Right for Nelson. Dos Santos completely no sells a two-punch combo from Nelson. Uppercut for dos Santos. Dos Santos really working the body. Dos Santos with two punches to the body and he takes Nelson down. But he immediately gets up. Right hook for dos Santos. Nelson continues to try for the hail mary. Dos Santos continues to land shots. Knee for dos Santos. Nelson backs dos Santos out of a clinch with a right. Crowd getting louder with 45 seconds to go. Nelson with an uppercut of his own. They slug out the final seconds and both men have huge smiles on their faces as the fight ends.
The judges see the bout 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27.