6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) / 247 lb (112 kg; 17 st 9 lb) / Heavyweight


$10 million

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Junior Dos Santos had one of the best boxing in the heavyweight division. In his prime, he was knocking guys out left and right, and his title run was one entertaining ride as well. With his rivalry against Cain Velasquez and knocking top guys out in devastating fashion, it is hard not to be a fan of JDS.

Dos Santos started his martial with capoeira but it did not involve much contact, he then trained BJJ for a few years and added boxing to his arsenal. Throughout his career, Dos Santos has been known for his quick hands and knockout power that is fast for a heavyweight.

He began his MMA career in his home country, Brazil, where he competed in small promotions like Demo Fight, XFC, and much more. All of his fights ended in a stoppage and most of which were due to TKO punches. Although he did have one loss against Joaquim Ferreira.

UFC Debut

For his 8th MMA fight, he was already about to make his UFC debut. He was excited to hear that he will be fighting in a major promotion but later heard that he was facing Fabricio Werdum, who was already a big name in the MMA community. Werdum was a well-accomplished BJJ specialist who had fought in Pride. Werdum was the huge favorite going to the fight.


Junior Dos Santos proceeded to land his signature uppercut that knocked Werdum out cold. Pretty much a great debut for Dos Santos who was just making his name and fighting a huge name like Werdum.

Knockout streak

What made Dos Santos a great prospect was his boxing was just so high level that he pretty much found a way to knock his opponents out. In his first five UFC fights, he all finished his opponents due to strikes. He went on to beat Stefan Struve, Mirco Cro Cop, Gilbert Yvel, and Gabriel Gonzaga.

Dos Santos then faced the durable Roy Nelson and won via unanimous decision. A title eliminator was then booked for Shane Carwin against Dos Santos. Carwin was also a powerful striker but Dos Santos was too technical and picked apart Carwin all throughout.

UFC Heavyweight Champion

He was set to face the undefeated champion, Cain Velasquez. The odds were close since both were rising contenders and are just about to take over. It was in just the first round that Dos Santos landed a right overhand that knocked Velasquez out.

For his first title defense, he faced Frank Mir who was dangerous on the ground. The problem was Mir couldn’t take Dos Santos down and was picked apart by Dos Santos’s striking. It was in the second round that Mir took so much damage that he couldn’t recover anymore.

Velasquez vs Dos Santos Trilogy

A rematch was then booked against Cain Velasquez but this time Velasquez was well prepared. He grappled Dos Santos more and tried to drown Dos Santos with wrestling, Velasquez outclassed and dominated Dos Santos all five rounds. He lost the belt and was beaten fair and square.

A comeback fight for Dos Santos was booked against the durable Mark Hunt. It was also the co-main event for UFC 160 headlined by Velasquez. Dos Santos was winning most parts of the fight, but then landed a spinning hook kick that Hunt did not see, it led to a knockout win.

HOUSTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 19: (L-R) Cain Velasquez kicks Junior Dos Santos in their UFC heavyweight championship bout at the Toyota Center on October 19, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The Trilogy was then set but Velasquez’s wrestling was just hard to beat, and not only that but Velasquez could go on for the days with his wrestling and his boxing also improved since their first meeting. It was a brutal beatdown, that may have destroyed Dos Santos’s prime years. The fight was stopped in the fifth round.

Dos Santos vs Miocic

He then faced Stipe Miocic and won via unanimous decision but then lost to Alistair Overeem via knockout.

With a win over Miocic, Dos Santos was granted a rematch with Miocic who was the heavyweight champion at that time but got knocked out in the first round due to his tendency of backing up in the corner and Miocic capitalized.

UFC 211: Stipe Miocic batters Junior dos Santos against the cage fence during his dominant performance. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Father time may have caught up to him since Dos Santos does not have the reflexes he had. Some would say that his signature combos that were knocking out his past opponents were because he was just really fast compared to his opponents but as father time goes, Dos Santos just does not have it anymore.

Career Revival

He did have a bit of revival as he went on a three-fight win streak, beating top heavyweight contenders like Blagoy Ivanov, Tai Tuivasa, and Derrick Lewis. It showed a glimpse of JDS’s speed but it was unlikely that he would fight for the title anytime soon.


There were a lot of rising heavyweights that were in their prime, and somehow Dos Santos faced all four of them. He got knocked out by Ngannou who went on to become the heavyweight champion, Curtis Blaydes, Rozenstruick, and interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane. UFC decided to move on and release Dos Santos from his contract.

Although, Dos Santos has made a career change and has been doing well in pro wrestling. He looked great in his performances which made sense considering he is athletically gifted.

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