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Biography and Profile of Junior dos Santos

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Junior dos Santos Biography Introduction:

There are a lot of fighters in MMA that people believe are elite strikers. Sometimes, the hype, however, is greater than the actual skills. Then there's Junior dos Santos. Dos Santos throws uppercuts, a nearly forgotten hand strike in MMA circles, like a professional boxer. His hands are amazingly fast, and he hits like a truck.

In other words, his striking skills really are that good. Here is his story.

Date of Birth:

Junior dos Santos Almeida was born on September 12, 1984 in Caçador, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Nickname:

Cigano (translates to gypsy)

Training Camp, Fighting Organization, and Weight Class:

Dos Santos fights out of Black House with the Nogueira brothers and Anderson Silva. He currently competes in the UFC's heavyweight division.

Martial Arts Background:

Dos Santos has a strong boxing and kickboxing background. Along with this, he holds an undefeated kickboxing record and was a Brazilian heavyweight champion. What few people know, however, is that he also holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under the Nogueira brothers.

Early MMA Career:

Dos Santos made his professional MMA debut on July 16, 2006, defeating Jailson Silva Santos at Demo Fight 1 in Brazil by TKO. In fact, he started his pre-UFC career posting a 7-1 record, only losing to Joaquim Ferreira by armbar in a rematch of a fight that he had won earlier.

UFC and TUF 13:

Since making his UFC debut with an upset victory over Fabricio Werdum, dos Santos has defeated the likes of Roy Nelson, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, and Stefan Struve, to name a few. He also participated on TUF 13 as a coach opposite Brock Lesnar.

Fighting Style:

Dos Santos has some significant Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills, which is exactly what you would expect from someone who trains with the Nogueira brothers. Further, he's shown the ability to take quality ground fighters down, and possesses very strong takedown defense. But in the end, dos Santos is known for one thing- his striking skills.

Dos Santos has some of the fastest hands in the heavyweight division. That would be easier to deal with if he didn't hit so hard. What's more, this explosive athlete also possesses some of the best uppercuts in the sport of MMA.

Some of Junior's Greatest Victories:

  • Dos Santos defeats Cain Velasquez by KO at the UFC on FOX 1: Velasquez was supposed to be the UFC's next great fighter. But one early overhand right from dos Santos changed a lot of people's opinions. We're talking about the UFC on FOX's initial event- so it was a pretty big stage, to boot. And on top of it all, dos Santos walked away with the UFC heavyweight strap for his efforts.
  • Dos Santos defeats Roy Nelson by unanimous decision at UFC 117: Nelson showed amazing toughness, withstanding a ridiculous amount of power strikes from dos Santos on the night. Still, in the end, the former TUF champion was clearly outclassed by his Brazilian counterpart, which put Dos Santos on people's championship radar.
  • Dos Santos defeats Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic by verbal submission at UFC 103: Dos Santos connected first and often on Cro Cop, whom eventually wilted under the pressure that the Brazilian fighter brought. Along with this, he did damage in the clinch which left Cro Cop unable to see in the third round, forcing the Croatian to submit. By defeating the one time heavyweight king of MMA striking at his own game, dos Santos gained a lot of credibility.
  • Dos Santos defeats Fabricio Werdum by KO at UFC 90: Dos Santos made his MMA debut with a first round uppercut that ended Werdum's night. It was a huge upset that left people wondering whether he had gotten lucky or was legitimately that good. Either way, people began to watch him.
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