Junior Dos Santos is the current UFC Heavyweight Champion of the world. He is on top of the UFC and is an apparent force to be reckoned with. If you do not believe me, ask Frank Mir. There are those that say Dos Santos has a shot to be the greatest UFC Heavyweight champion of all time. So what is the background of the man who is at the top of the UFC mountaintop?
Dos Santos honed his skills in the kickboxing world. He had an undefeated kickboxing career and was even the heavyweight champion in Brazil. In a further demonstration of his diverse talent, he also earned a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Jiu-Jitsu master Yuri Carlton. Yuri Carlton had a brief MMA career in which he fought only three times in 2005. His record is 2-1 overall. However, he may have played a huge role in the development of a dominating force.
Junior Dos Santos is also known as Junior Cigano, (Cigano means “gypsy”) Dos Santos received that nickname because he once showed up to his practice facility with his hair wrapped in a ponytail. Junior Dos Santos started his career six years ago in the Demo Fight 1 MMA promotion. He knocked out an individual by the name of Jailson Silva Santos with a plain-old soccer kick. His next fight was in the Minotauro Fights 5 promotion against Eduardo Maiorino. Dos Santos defeated him by submission in less than a minute. From there, Dos Santos would compete in the XFC Brazil, Mo Team League 2, MTL and Demo Fight 3 promotions in his next five fights. During this stretch, he would experience defeat for the only time of his career.
Dos Santos would lose to a fighter by the name of Joaquim Ferreira via armbar submission. This was a measure of revenge for Ferreira, who had lost to Dos Santos six months prior to the fight.
Dos Santos would make an immediate impact in his UFC debut at UFC 90 nearly four years ago. He knocked out favourite Fabricio Werdum in the first round. In addition, he earned himself the 1st of 3 Knockout of the Night Awards. In addition, Dos Santos’s upset of Werdum was the 2008 Upset of the Year according to Fight Magazine. His 2nd came against his fellow countrymen Gabriel Gonzaga in March 2010. However, his third Knockout of the Night Award was truly the charm.
Dos Santos’s would earn his third Knockout of the Night Award as well as the UFC Heavyweight Championship with his knockout of Cain Velasquez on UFC’s first-ever live event on Fox. He currently holds the lengthiest winning streak in the heavyweight division.
Not bad for a man who once hated to fight as a child.