Could Junior Dos Santos become the greatest Heavyweight in MMA history?Posted on November 13, 2011, 01:36 PM by Anton Gurevich
Last night, Junior dos Santos completed a long journey inside the UFC Octagon with a devastating overhand right that made "The Brock Slayer" Cain Velasquez to add "former" to his UFC Heavyweight Champion title. But with all the praise and glory "Cigano" gets for his victory over Cain Velasquez, it’s important to take a look back at the journey made by the humble Brazilian to earn his shot at the UFC Heavyweight gold.
Dos Santos' quest inside the Octagon started against no other than Fabricio Werdum, a Top 5 Heavyweight during that time, who was fresh off TKO victories over Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera. It was Baptism by Fire, but Dos Santos passed the test with flying colors, shocking the world of MMA with a quick TKO victory early in Round 1. Cigano's path of destruction continued with four consecutive TKO finishes over the debutant Stefan Struve, and the veterans Mirko Cro Cop, Gilbert Yvel and Gabriel Gonzaga - once again, all Top 10 UFC Heavyweights.
Then, dos Santos destroyed the iron-chinned Roy Nelson and the former UFC Heavyweight Title challenger Shane Carwin to earn the #1 contendership for Cain Velasquez' belt. Absolutely incredible.
JDS currently has 8 victories over Top 10 UFC Heavyweights, two of them against former UFC Heavyweight title challengers, one of them against PRIDE GP Winner and MMA legend, and another one against the previously undefeated UFC Heavyweight Champion.
That's why at least in my opinion; it's not all about defending your title. Titles are won and lost. Cigano dos Santos been there with the best, and earned his place alongside the longest reigning UFC Champions. Junior dos Santos and Jon "Bones" Jones, who also went through hell to get his title shot, are the present and the future of Mixed Martial Arts.
I had mixed emotions over the Cain Velasquez's ranking in LowKick.com Community MMA Rankings, but it's the quality and diversity of Junior dos Santos' opponents that make him a legitimate entry in any type of Pound-for-Pound rankings. I have him ranked #8 in my list.
Next weekend, "The Last Emperor" Fedor Emelianenko will look to revive his career against Jeff Monson in Moscow, Russia. Once considered the greatest Pound-for-Pound MMA fighters on the planet, thirty-five year old Russian wants to prove he's still in the business of winning fights.
Dos Santos was 16 when Fedor made his professional MMA debut. Today, I think it's safe to assume that Junior dos Santos is on the right track to replace Fedor as the greatest Heavyweight of all time.