Junior dos Santos



UFC run over
March 3, 2021
Dos Santos officially parted ways with the UFC on Wednesday, Mike Bohn of USA Today reports.
Dos Santos exits a storied UFC run on the same day as fellow future hall-of-famer Alistair Overeem, as the company looks to trim its roster of some its aging and high-priced talent. Dos Santos is a former champion who picked up the belt by defeating Cain Velasquez in 2011 and defended it once against Frank Mir before later losing it to Velasquez. He recently put together a three-fight winning streak against Blagoy Ivanov, Tai Tuivasa and Derrick Lewis spanning from 2018 to 2019, but that's where his good fortunes ultimately ended. Since then, dos Santos has suffered four consecutive KO/TKO defeats, with all of them coming within the first two rounds. The most recent of which was a December 2020 loss to surging prospect Ciryl Gane. At 37 years old, dos Santos presumably could continue his career elsewhere if he chooses to, and will likely have several suitors on the free agent market.
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Fourth straight knockout loss
December 12, 2020
Dos Santos lost to Ciryl Gane via TKO (elbow) at 2:34 of Round 2 at UFC 256 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Dos Santos joins Jake Ellenberger as the only fighters in UFC history to suffer four straight knockout defeats. JDS was upset about what he felt was an illegal shot to the back of the head that lead to the finish, but the truth of the matter is that Dos Santos, outside of a couple of power strikes, wasn't the least bit competitive once again. Dos Santos is an aging one-dimensional power puncher with a questionable chin and zero footwork, and that's a recipe for total failure. Set to turn 38 years old next month and without a victory in nearly two years, Dos Santos' UFC run is on life support. UFC President Dana White said there are plenty of cuts coming over the next couple months and it would be a surprise at this point if JDS is able to survive the forthcoming wave.
Booked for UFC 256
October 28, 2020
Dos Santos will take on Ciryl Gane in a heavyweight matchup at UFC 256 on Dec. 12, MMAFighting.com reports.
Dos Santos has been knocked out in each of his last three fights, most recently losing to Jair Rozenstruik via TKO (punches) at UFC 252 in August. The losses came against three formidable opponents, but the 36-year-old's durability has been a concern during the longest losing streak of his career. Gane is undefeated during the first six fights of his career, but he's been unable to fight since suffering a collapsed lung in March. His most recent fight was in December when he defeated Tanner Boser via unanimous decision at UFC Busan. Gane has advantages in both height and reach.
Third straight knockout loss
August 15, 2020
Dos Santos lost to Jair Rozenstruik via TKO (punches) at 3:47 of Round 2 at UFC 252 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
One would have surmised that the longer this fight went, the better it was for Dos Santos. It appeared as if that was indeed the case until Rozenstruik connected with one big combination. JDS was reasonably effective prior to the stoppage. He wasn't landing any consistent offense, but he was managing to limit Jair's strikes. JDS was clearly the more technical striker of the two, but his chin once again let him down. It's fair to question how much Dos Santos have left in the tank at age 36. He has been knocked out in three straight fight. Yes, those losses came against Rozenstruik, Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes, but the durability of JDS has been a concern for years and is clearly still trending in the wrong direction. It's impossible the UFC would cut bait here, but expecting Dos Santos to compete against the top heavyweights in the world isn't realistic at this point.
Scheduled for UFC 252
June 12, 2020
Dos Santos will square off at UFC 252 versus Jair Rozenstruik on Aug 15, Guilherme Cruz and Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
Dos Santos has taken a pair of losses versus Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes via TKO in each of his last two bouts but will aim to get back on track versus Rozenstruik, who also went down early via the hands of Ngannou in his last bout. The winner of the bout could align himself well for a future shot at one of the top contenders in the division. The two sport identical heights, but Dos Santos surrenders an inch of reach to his opponent.
Second-straight TKO loss
January 26, 2020
Dos Santos lost to Curtis Blaydes via TKO (punches) at 1:06 of Round 2 at UFC Raleigh on Saturday.
Dos Santos did a great job stifling the takedown attempts of Blaydes in the first round, throwing off a fighter who averages nearly seven takedowns per 15 minutes from his game plan. What dos Santos likely didn't expect is to be bested like this on the feet. Dos Santos seemed to load up on the uppercut on multiple occasions, but the shot was too telegraphed and wasn't able to connect. His opponent had success with both body kicks and the right hand, which likely caused JDS to drop the first round and gave momentum to Blaydes heading into the second. Blaydes faked a takedown attempt and landed a massive overhand right that ended up starting the fight-ending sequence. Dos Santos has now lost two in a row, albeit against some of the most talented heavyweights in the division. His window for a title shot may be closed, but he'll still warrant ranked opposition moving forward.