The heavyweight division has seen a resurgence, with the likes of
moving up the ranks. Junior dos
is a veteran who refuses to drown out amid this tough
competition. He is now ranked No. 8 and perhaps needs two or three
more victories to break back into the top 5.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
returns to Australia on Dec. 1,
he will go up against hometown hero,Tai
. Expect “Cigano” to go for the kill as the fight
unfolds at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. Let’s look back on
the career of this hard-hitting Brazilian with five of his numerous
Building a Reputation
garnered five straight victories before getting signed
by the UFC. Fighting in his home country of Brazil, he stopped all
of his opponents in devastating fashion -- one by submission and
four by KO or TKO -- all in the first round -- with one coming in
under 60 seconds. Going into his Octagon debut, dos Santos was a
still an unknown prospect, especially in the United States. But
after earning Knockout of the Night honors by starching his
in just a little over a minute, a new heavyweight
contender was born.
Knocking Out Knockout Artists
After the victory over Werdum, dos Santos would win eight straight.
His striking game was put to the test when he was pitted against
fellow KO enthusiasts like Mirko
, Roy Nelson
. The aggressive, but technically sound Brazilian
defeated every opponent presented to him and went on to capture the
UFC heavyweight belt and successfully defend it once before losing
to Velasquez in their rematch.
Improved Accuracy, Decreased Strike Absorption Rate
Dos Santos challenged for the title three times, two against
Velasquez and one versus Stipe
. In his first nine fights in the UFC, dos Santos landed
a total of 408 strikes and absorbed only 142. However in his last
six bouts before challenging Miocic for the title, he went 3-3 and
landed 479 strikes and absorbed 461. In his three setbacks, he was
outstruck a combined 266-125.
Bouncing Back, Losing Momentum
Getting back on track after a monumental loss is in every fighter’s
mind, especially in a division where there is a surplus of
contenders. After that long streak to start his UFC tenure, dos
Santos would alternate wins and losses, which showed that he can
bounce back but have problems building on the momentum.
Reasserting His Dominance
Dos Santos recently displayed old form by dominating Blagoy
. He completely outstruck the UFC newcomer and former
World Series of Fighting heavyweight king, 110-51. The fight went
five full rounds, with the Brazilian taking each of them. He also
moved better and strung together combinations more efficiently.