"Cain Velasquez, like you said (last year), I'm going to come back and I'm going to take my belt again," Dos Santos said.
Dos Santos' win over Velasquez last year in the UFC's first fight on American network television catapulted the hard-punching Brazilian heavyweight into an international spotlight. Both fighters injured their knees in the month leading up to their first fight, but stayed in the bout because of its importance.
Dos Santos defended his title against Frank Mir earlier this year and got a lucrative sponsorship deal with Nike while emerging as one of the promotion's most likable stars.
Miller and Lauzon also turned in one of the UFC's best fights of 2012 in its final show, starting when Miller opened a gaping gash over Lauzon's right eye early in the first round. Blood gushed out of Lauzon's face and onto the canvas, yet he blinked it away and survived the round to a standing ovation.
Lauzon bled substantially for the final two rounds, yet traded big shots with Miller and even took down his fellow veteran, although submission holds were nearly impossible due to the blood slickening both fighters' bodies. Miller narrowly avoided two submission attempts by Lauzon in the final seconds before celebrating his second win in four fights.
"Joe Lauzon is a tough kid," Miller said. "I knew I was going to have to bring my best effort to put him away and I was never able to. That's how good he is on the ground. And even in the last minute, look what he was trying to do to win the fight."
After two dull main-card bouts resulted in wins for Okami and Brunson, Philippou (12-2) and Boetsch entertained the crowd — but Boetsch (16-5) left his first loss in two years with big cuts on his forehead and nose along with an apparently injured hand. Philippou was impressive in his fifth straight victory, winning as a fairly late replacement for Chris Weidman, his training partner.
In the early fights, veteran Jamie Varner (21-7-1) continued his comeback with a split-decision victory over Melvin Guillard (47-13-3), and heavyweight Todd Duffee (9-2) returned to the UFC after an acrimonious 2½-year absence with a nasty first-round knockout victory over Phil De Fries.
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