There was a lot of pressure on Junior dos Santos heading into UFC 146.
He was defending his UFC Heavyweight Championship for the first time, looking to avenge his friend and mentor Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and doing so against one of the greatest heavyweights of all-time, Frank Mir.
It was a big test for the champion, and he passed with flying colors.
Many expected that if dos Santos could keep the fight standing, it would be a short night for Mir, and that's exactly what happened. The challenger was unable to bring the fight to the ground, and dos Santos battered him from the opening bell into the second round, where the champion finished the fight.
It was an excellent performance from dos Santos, and it's clear this young fighter has the potential to be a great champion.
Here's five things we learned about Junior dos Santos...
At just 27-years-old, it's likely that dos Santos has yet to reach his prime. He exemplified that last night by showing us the best version we've seen of him so far.
The champion's boxing looked better than it's ever looked, and he mixed things up brilliantly by frequently incorporating body shots into his arsenal.
We once again did not see much of his ground game, but he once again showed us that he can avoid that area of the fight with ease, keeping the fight where he has the greatest advantage.
Every time we see Junior in the cage, he seems more calm and more confident. That trend continued at UFC 146.
He stalked Mir for the entire fight, showing little regard for the challenger's striking prowess, landing at will.
At some points, dos Santos almost looked bored with Mir, and the last hammer fist the champ threw seemed to say, "Yea, just stay down. It's for your own good."
Dos Santos' confidence is growing to the point that he's calling out when and how he will win fights. Before UFC 146, he said he was going to knock Mir out in the second round, and that's exactly what he did.
Dos Santos is currently undefeated in the UFC, and fans are wondering what style of fighter could be the champion's Achilles heel.
There's no answer to this question yet, but we can rule out the submission specialist.
Many believed that a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu expert was the key to beating Junior, given that his only career loss came by way of submission, but that theory is out the window now.
It's clear that dos Santos' defensive grappling has improved greatly since his early career and that any of the heavyweight division's submission specialists do not have the takedown prowess to get Junior down.
Dos Santos has now proven himself against elite wrestlers and elite jiu-jitsu practitioners. Maybe when Alistair Overeem returns to the UFC, we'll get to see how dos Santos does against another elite striker.
Every weight class in the UFC (not counting flyweight) has had a dominant champion at some point—except for heavyweight. Welterweight has Georges St-Pierre, middleweight has Anderson Silva, and so forth.
In the heavyweight division, no one has ever defended the belt more than two times.
It might be too early to say this, but dos Santos may be the first man to do it. He's looked unstoppable so far and has shown no major holes in his game. There's not a ton of big challenges left for him at this point. If he can get past Cain Velasquez again and defeat Alistair Overeem, it's hard to imagine anyone beating him anytime soon.
Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and a stand-up comedian. Check him out on Twitter @AndrewBarr8.