UFC

Junior Dos Santos Will Face Stipe Miocic in UFC 173 Co-Main Event

USA Today
Scott HarrisFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2014

Junior Dos Santos, the former UFC heavyweight champion, will face the streaking Stipe Miocic at UFC 173 this Memorial Day weekend.

The fight, which was first reported Monday evening by Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, will serve as the evening's co-main event. The card is scheduled to be headlined by middleweight champ Chris Weidman's title defense against Lyoto Machida.

Dos Santos, 30, is 16-3 overall as a pro and 10-2 in the UFC Octagon. His only two losses both came at the hands of current champion Cain Velasquez. In 2011, Dos Santos knocked out Velasquez in the first round of the first UFC main event to air on the Fox network.

The win earned Dos Santos the heavyweight title, which he defended once against Frank Mir before losing it in a rematch with Velasquez.

The two men fought a rubber match in October at UFC 166. The third bout unfolded much like the second, with Velasquez winning by TKO in the fifth and final round to retain his title.

Stipe Miocic
Stipe MiocicJulie Jacobson/Associated Press

Miocic, 31, is 11-1 overall and 5-1 in the UFC. In his last two contests, Miocic has defeated heavyweight veterans Roy Nelson and Gabriel Gonzaga. His only professional loss came in 2012, a second-round TKO at the hands of Stefan Struve. The effort nevertheless earned Fight of the Night bonus honors for the two fighters.

Both men are known for their boxing. However, Dos Santos is more aggressive, powerful and diverse in his striking attacks, while Miocic is known more for his methodical approach that appears designed to outpoint and outlast opponents rather than overwhelm them.

The two men have a combined 19 knockout victories between them.

With that in mind, this bout will likely be a standup battle. Still, both men have legitimate bona fides on the ground. Miocic was a Division I wrestler at Cleveland State University, while Dos Santos holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

MMA reporters—Bleacher Report's Jeremy Botter and Michael Stets of MMAMania.com—were quick to offer opinions on the bout announcement:

I like JDS/Miocic a lot. UFC 173 co-main. Big opportunity for Stipe.

— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) March 4, 2014

 

Stipe vs JDS that should be a fun one. Wow!

— Michael Stets (@Michael_Stets) March 4, 2014

 

 

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