Though the fight ultimately went the distance, Dos Santos nearly ended things in the first round. After dropping Carwin against the cage, he unleashed a beating on the ground as Carwin did his best to cover up. At the end of the round Carwin's face was a bloody mess, with a broken nose and several lacerations, but referee Herb Dean allowed the fight to continue. Though Dos Santos joked that he got a little tired throwing those punches, he felt Dean did the right thing by allowing Carwin to continue.
"I was getting tired from hitting and hitting and hitting," Dos Santos said at the post fight press conference. "[Dean] didn't stop the fight, so I asked him, 'Hey, stop the fight.' He said, 'Keep going, keep going, keep going.' I tried to finish him in the first round, but like [Carwin] said, he has a hard chin. He's tough, so I couldn't [put him out]. I think it was the right decision of the referee because you saw Shane Carwin go back standing and keep fighting with me. It was a good decision."
Dos Santos admitted to having nerves coming into this fight with all that was on the line, but the fight went as he hoped it was going to, even if he wasn't able to put Carwin away.
"This fight was very important for me because there are so many things in line for me," he said. "I was a little bit nervous, but it was like I expected. I was faster, and my boxing skills were a little bit better than him."
Now he turns his attentions to Velasquez and a showdown for the Heavyweight Championship this fall, possibly as early as October. And after putting on that performance against Carwin, he's prepared for the toughest challenge of his career.
"I think my biggest challenge is coming because Cain Velasquez is the champion, and he deserves that," Dos Santos said. "He's proved that he is very good, but I will be ready for him. I think the best of Cain is his cardio. He's good in wrestling, too, so I have to train this a lot."
"I'm learning wrestling very fast, and I will try to defend his takedowns. Using my boxing, all the time I'm looking for the knockout. It's not going to be different."
Penick's Analysis: Dos Santos threw in those takedowns in the third round to give Velasquez something to think about before they fight this fall. His takedown defense against Carwin was good, and his speed, reach and striking were all advantages over his opponent. It's not going to be the same thing against Velasquez, who will also have speed, reach and power to compete with him. It makes for an immensely intriguing heavyweight fight, and in the long run Velasquez's injury ended up being better for the matchup, because Dos Santos looks even more impressive after this win than he did in the fight with Roy Nelson last summer.