JDS vs. Mark Hunt: Early Head-to-Head Breakdown


First off we will look at Mark Hunt, here is a guy that is a decorated K-1 kickboxer, a Pride FC veteran, and now a UFC fan favorite. When Hunt joined the UFC back in 2010 he held a record of 5 wins and 6 losses in MMA. 

His debut was a heavyweight clash against Sean McCorkle, in a fight that many expected the Pride veteran to cruise through. As always with MMA anything can happen, and at UFC 119 Hunt was submitted in the first round by armbar.

Since then Mark Hunt has been on a streak, tearing through 265 lb. men like a machine. His next fight against Chris Tuchscherer ended with a devastating walk away knockout for Hunt. Cheick Kongo and Stefan Struve followed suit in his next two fights at UFC 144 and UFC on Fuel: Silva vs Stann, respectively.

The ‘Super Samoan’ is experiencing his second wind as an MMA fighter after going on a six fight-losing skid between 2006 and 2010. ‘Cigano’ on the other hand is only just coming off his first loss in the UFC and second overall.

Since joining the UFC back in 2008 Junior dos Santos made a huge name for himself. He crushed Fabricio Werdum in a fight where JDS was considered a heavy underdog. Since then he has conquered Stefan Struve, Mirko Cro Cop, Gilbert Yvel, Gabriel Gonzaga, Roy Nelson, Shane Carwin, Cain Velasquez and Frank Mir.

With his first round KO of Cain Velasquez at UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs Dos Santos in 2011 ‘Cigano’ won the UFC heavyweight belt. Defending it once against Frank Mir in May of 2012 at UFC 146, before being absolutely dominated by a renewed Velasquez at UFC 155 in December of 2012.

So let’s look at the two men’s styles head to head.


I feel Junior dos Santos gets the nod here. He holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu under Yuri Carlton and although we have only seen JDS submit one opponent during his MMA career it is well known that JDS is no slouch in the submission game.

His opponent however has lost 6 fights in his MMA career by submission. Hunt showed great submission defence in his latest scrap against Struve so I don’t doubt his improvement but JDS gets my vote on this one.   70-30 Dos Santos


Junior dos Santos is renowned for his excellent takedown defence. Although he came unstuck against Velasquez recently we won’t hold that against him, as Velasquez is a wrestling beast by all accounts. We are yet to see much of Dos Santos’ wrestling offensively.

Hunt has trained at American Top Team and that will have helped him with his wrestling and takedown defence although he has had trouble with wrestlers in the past. Again this is another aspect of his game that Hunt has worked on. I’m going to give Dos Santos a slight edge. 60-40 Dos Santos


Junior dos Santos holds an incredible record of 11 knockouts from 15 professional wins in MMA. He has heavy hands, quick feet and excellent speed for a heavyweight. His crisp boxing and movement is truly a testament to a top-level boxer and has aided him on his path to the heavyweight crown.

Mark Hunt holds 6 knockouts in 9 MMA wins and 13 knockouts from 30 wins in kickboxing. His K-1 level striking has seen him grab 2 knockout of the night awards in the UFC as well as 4 K-1 championship titles. I’m going to call it even 50-50


Hunt has only ever been knocked out once in MMA, against Melvin Manhoef in Dynamite!!2008. But anyone who can soak up a flush Cro Cop head kick and carry on has an iron chin in my books.

Junior dos Santos took a horrendous beating against Cain Velasquez in their second bout and kept coming. By the end of the fight his face was terribly swollen but he showed great heart and durability to continue. Again I’m going to call this one even    50-50

As for the result, I really want to see Mark Hunt get a title shot. I’ve been a huge Hunt fan since the Pride days and I would like nothing more than to see him conquer JDS en route to a title shot.

There is just this voice in the back of my head telling me ‘Cigano’ is just too fast and nimble on the feet for Hunt to deal with. Not only that I think Hunt’s cardio may let him down later in the fight. I really want Hunt to win so for the meantime I’m going to hope he works on his cardio and ignore that voice.

  • I have to disagree with striking…. Hunt's striking is on another level. It's more like 65-35 for Hunt in the striking department… I agree with the Grappling.. JDS got JITZZ.. he's a Yuri Carlton Blackbelt.. that's LEGIT! I was really surprised by Hunt though rolling with Struve and holding his own… i'd say 60-40 for JDS

  • I know hunts standup is awesome, I can just see him getting outpaced by junior although im really hoping hunt can land a bomb and get the title shot

    • I agree with all of it Rory, good job. Only thing I would change is chin. JDS hasn't been hit enough to say that he has a legendary chin like Hunt's.

      Hunt took some flush Cro-cop left kicks to the dome during their fight. Sweat flew and time slowed down, I even heard the sonic boom. And yet the guy didn't even get rocked.

      Chin for me would be 60-40 Hunt, maybe even 70-30.

  • This is a very very fun fight but it is safe to say JDS got a much easier path to a rematch with Cain….Overeem has as good if not better striking compared to Hunt (provided he keeps his hands up), much beter TDD, much better BJJ, more reach and more fisical power……so kind of a free ride for a JDS x Cain 3…….

  • I wouldn't say a free ride hunt is a jaw-breaking kongo crushing super Samoan beast. If jds wins I doubt it will be a walk through. Id say overeem is better on paper and he does have brick crushing power, but like Chong Li said: "very good but brick don't hit back"

  • Lets assume Hunt beats JDS, then gets a shot at Cain V in a 5 round war….As much as I love hunts toughness and power as a fighter, I envisage problems later on if it makes it that far. Cain is so dominant with his wrestling and wearing guys cardio out. He would face the same problems with a guy liike cormier.

    • I dont think Hunt would get an immediate title shot if he beats JDS… they will probably feed him to The Reem or the loser of CAIN vs SILVA first…

  • We haven't seen JDS ground game but we have seen Hunt getting Fedor in difficult positions and now we have seen him rolling with some like Struve I know in paper JDS has the advantage but the evidence says different, I think JDS will lose if he takes the fight to the ground and in a striking match I will say JDS has an advantage but Hunt is dangerous and we do not know how much of a chin Cain left JDS with…

  • Zip

    I admit, my background is boxing so I may be a tad biased (although I try not to be), but the real JDS, not the one who last fought Cain, will KO Hunt despite Hunt's granite chin. It's the shots you don't see that puts you to sleep. BTW, I'm a big fan of Mark's. Great dude:)

  • Sorry but I give the nod to Hunt as far as chin goes, and that is against pretty much anymone on the planet. After the beating that Junior took, his chin may be suspect for awhile.

    JDS may be a more skilled, technical striker but his style depends partly on not getting hit. Taking a shot to return one is part of Hunt's style. Struve had the Kiwi in full mount a few times and was landing power bombs but Hunt never looked close to being out or finished.

    And Struve has a wicked submission game and that didn't work.So JDS's path to victory, like any boxer versus a slugger, is to win by volume of strikes.

  • JDS is the Man just watch He will pick apart or KO hunt like he does everyone else! And when he fights cain again, he will get a tko in the 2nd.we never see this rare occurrence, I mean people can fight 10 times or 100 times and the winner will never be the same 100 % of the time but we saw cains 1 rare win cause I guarantee you dos santos will be th HW champ by 2014.

  • Broken record will keep playing, mark hunt is a better striker

  • I'm sorry guys, I love Mark Hunt, but save for a crushing right hand, JDS is still on top of the world in my eyes. Name another fighter that lasts that five rounds. There isn't one. There's just not.

    • True, and that's not even considering that fact that he was injured apparently.

  • Haha and that's why mikes chief! JDS all the way, no way is hunt better especially when compared to a taller faster more elusive almost equally powerful fighter that can win anywhere in MMA against Hunt. Hunter B your setting yourself up for disappointment man.

  • If Hunt will fight like the pride and attitude of Cain Velásquez, he will win.

  • 3 rounds of take down by JDS if it's 5 Rounds then 5 Rounds of all take down, take down attempt virtually no stand up…. I know people will disagree with me and weak this comment BUT ask Struve, Congo and Tuchscherer what would be the best plan against Hunt.

  • I can't believe how many people think Hunt is the better striker. JDS is faster, more accurate and possesses far better foot work. The only criteria that Hunt is arguably superior in are variety (arguably) and maybe power. On variety, you could argue Hunt's superiority based on the fact that he utilizes more kicks but JDS has more punching variety so it might even out. As for power, both fighters pack a mean punch. Having never been hit by either of these guys and due to the variable nature of every fight, I find it hard to give the nod to either fighter on power. Likewise, they both display excellent chins. I also find it hard to give either fighter the nod on the ground game. Sure JDS has a black belt but when did he get it? What has he done with it? There are a lot of guys with prestigious black belts who let their skills stagnate. A student of Renzo's that I trained with for a while told me that even under guys like him there are good black belts and bad black belts because some guys get the belt and don't maintain it. In the years since I have found this to be very true. On the other hand, Hunt is clearly improving his ground game by huge strides. He went to the ground with Struve and broke even there. I think the safe bet is on this being a stand up war and ending in a decision victory for JDS. That said, everyone loves an underdog and although I will have JDS in the picks I will definitely be rooting for Hunt.

    • Historically Hunt has had more success in striking. He is the much more decorated and accomplished striker in the world of striking.

      I don't doubt JDS is amazing and would also do as well given the same circumstances, but the fact is that he didn't.

      With that said, I've also never seen JDS throw a kick. Hunt throws a few, so yet one more weapon JDS doesn't have.

      Both are great strikers, and there are a lot of factors to take into account, but overall Hunt has simply done more in the striking sports.

      And personally I think Hunt's hands are heavier and his chin is stronger. Although I do believe he's slower. We'll just have to see, either way the fans win this one.

      • @ Bryan I agree with hunt being a much more decorated striker, however this means nothing at all especially when a K1 Kick boxer moves into MMA a whole different kind of monster for a sport. The only reason hunt is a more decorated striker is because he's a kick boxer so he should be, its like saying Koschecks wresting is better than Gsp because he has credentials in college wrestling, but we all saw how that fight played out.

        I never go off paper stats or "looks", because this leads most people to be wrong. as for kicks that's not JDS game style so it will work our fine as he is a top 3 boxer in MMA and as for hunt doing more striking in sports that's true but dos santos has done more striking in MMA and while Hunt may be the more accomplished striker in the stand-up sport of kickboxing Dos Santos is the more accomplished striker in the sport of MMA he has more KO's, better speed, and more elusive footwork. cant beat that even if this were K1.

        oh and just cause a 255 lb man gave JDS some cosmetic damage doesent mean his chin is anywhere near faulty, i would actually argue JDS with the better chin only due to age.

  • I think cardio has a huge part to play, especially in the striking aspect of this fight, we all know Hunts cardio is terrible, we all know how junior like to fight keeping it busy on the feet. Assuming this fight gets to round three, we will see a gassed mark hunt, who no matter how legendary his chin is will be far more prone to a knock out, where junior will be in decent shape at this point (i know he aint got the best gas tank but compared to hunt). I think junior will work the body and move in and out, just boxing hunt tiring him out, once hunt gets tired its inevitable that his punches will become sloppy less powerful and his hands will drop, i think junior will capitalise and knock him out.

  • YEEEEEEEAAAAAAH This is like the DC vs MARVEL Crossover , SUPERMAN VS HULK

  • I would rather see Hunt vs. JDS than JDS vs Overeem–especially after the Bigfoot beatdown of the Reem.

    Hunt does not have the footwork of JDS, but for those who think Hunt does not have speed–take another look at his recent fights. Hunt is deceptively slow and plodding–but when he strikes–he does so with great speed and accuracy.

    Because Hunt can absorb punishment well–this fight will be a lot closer than some fans think. I don't see JDS going for the takedown much–as I believe Junior likes standing–and his past fights are a testament to this preference.

    I see a standup war happening between JDS and Hunt. I have not seen Junior get clocked that many times hard–as his great footwork has kept him out of danger in his previous fights. But if Hunt can connect…

    There is sufficient uncertainty as to the outcome of this fight to make it really interesting to me. I tend to favor Hunt for sentimental reasons–and because he answers a long-winded motor-mouthed post-fight questions with a simple and laconic: Yes.