UFC 146 Fight Card: Will Junior Dos Santos Become the Best UFC Heavyweight Ever?
Let me say something that may catch you off guard:
Junior dos Santos is good.
He's better than good, actually; he will become the greatest heavyweight in the history of the UFC.
I can hear you complaining and diving for the comment bar now, so let me explain before you voice your displeasure.
Think with me for a second.
Who does he have to compete with? Who is the greatest UFC heavyweight of all time right now, today?
Randy Couture? Frank Mir?
To steal a phrase from Mr. Chad Ochocinco, CHILD PLEASE!
Junior dos Santos is to the UFC's heavyweight division what Jon Jones has been to the light heavyweight division in recent years—a new breed of fighter who is disciplined in all areas and has no glaring weaknesses.
His hands are phenomenal and widely considered the best in the division.
His cardio is fantastic for a heavyweight; after beating Shane Carwin to a bloody pulp for three rounds and wailing on Roy Nelson for an encore, dos Santos showed no glaring signs of fatigue (I'm looking at you Nelson, Mir, Hunt and Rothwell).
Who is the greatest heavyweight in UFC history?
His takedown defense has allowed him to dictate each fight he's had in the UFC, and his ground game is polished under the legendary Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
To top this off, he has shown an impressive chin in his fights, and he has never been in any kind of danger despite facing deadly opponents like Cain Velasquez, Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson.
All of these fighters are finishers, but they could do absolutely nothing to "Cigano."
I'm not going to say that dos Santos has the best ground game, the best takedown defense and the best striking of any UFC heavyweight ever; that would be silly.
What I am going to say, however, is that if you take each of these components and add them together, he is the most complete heavyweight to ever set foot in the Octagon and has the finishing power to make him a threat to anyone at any time.
"Cigano" is an absolute monster, and we really haven't seen a heavyweight with his boxing proficiency in the UFC since the company's inception (no, I didn't forget about James Toney, but I'd like to).
Adding to this, he has incredible takedown defense, a solid ground game, great cardio and a rock-solid chin.
What more could you ask for, really?
So let's go back to our initial list:
Randy Couture: dos Santos would earn a knockout victory within the first round. He's bigger, faster, stronger and he hits harder than Randy could ever dream. Randy, I love ya sir, but this is a fight I never want to see for your own safety.
Tim Sylvia: dos Santos can do whatever he wants to do whenever he wants to do it against the "Maineiac." Sure, Sylvia hits hard, but he is as slow as molasses in the wintertime, and dos Santos would have no problems turning out his lights early in the first round.
Frank Mir: Well, would you look at that? Here's a matchup we have the pleasure of seeing this Saturday at UFC 146, live on pay-per-view. This one, like the previous two matchups, is no problem for dos Santos. I'll admit I am a huge Mir fan, and I know that his jiu-jitsu is probably the best in the division, but he is not a challenge for dos Santos.
Don't buy into the hype folks; "Cigano" is on another level. One of two things will happen in this fight: dos Santos will either catch Mir early and knock him out, or he will pick him apart for the fight's duration, tire him out and then pounce when the opportunity is right to earn a TKO victory.
All of this said, yes, I do think Junior dos Santos will become the greatest UFC heavyweight of all time. He is currently the most spectacular heavyweight that has ever graced the Octagon, and he is still in his prime.
"Cigano" will go down as the best big boy in UFC history, and I won't be surprised if he rattles off a Siva/GSP-like title defense streak in doing so.
He is that dominant.
On Saturday, you will see.
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