Junior Dos Santos On the Fast Track to UFC Success

DALLAS - SEPTEMBER 19:  UFC fighter Mirko Cro Cop (L) is stopped by referee after losing to opponent UFC fighter Junior Dos Santo (R) during their Heavyweight bout at UFC 103: Franklin vs. Belfort at the American Airlines Center on September 19, 2009 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Christopher DiCarloContributor IIMarch 15, 2010

Junior dos Santos is one of the many contenders in the UFC 's Heavyweight division.

He made his UFC debut on October 25, 2008, when he faught Fabricio Werdum at UFC 90. That is when Junior burst onto the seen, knocking out Werdum just 1:21 into round one.

Werdum and dos Santos also were awarded with Knockout of the Night honors.

His next fight would end in similar fashion. Junior's opponent, Stefan Struve, would be the next victim.

Only :54 seconds into round one, dos Santos would win by TKO via punches.

Junior dos Santos would continue his dominance on September 19, by beating one of the most recognized heavyweights in the world, Mirko Cro Cop .

Cro Cop and dos Santos battled for two rounds, but in the third is when dos Santos put it away. The fight ended with Cro Cop verbally submitting to dos Santos' strikes.

At UFC 108, Junior dos Santos would fight seasoned veteran, and UFC newcomer Gilbert Yvel . Going into this fight, Yvel had 51 professional mixed martial arts bouts, winning 36 of them.

Many thought this would be the true test for Junior dos Santos, to see if he was truly a UFC contender. 

Dos Santos proved to everyone he was ready for the next stage in his career, beating Gilbert Yvel by TKO via punches, just 2:07 into round one.  

Junior dos Santos practices Brazilian Jui Jitsu and Kickboxing. He holds a brown belt in BJJ, and trains under the likes of Anderson Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira .

Dos Santos is also a very established kickboxer, with a professional record of 18 wins and 0 losses.

Now Junior dos Santos is riding a four fight UFC win streak, and is set for his biggest test yet. He will fight at UFC Live, vs. another heavyweight contender in Gabriel Gonzaga.

This is the most important fight of dos Santos' career, if he wins he will most likely get a shot at a top heavyweight. Some guys I can see Junior fighting if he beats Gonzaga are: Minotauro Nogueira, Shane Carwin , Cain Valasquez , or Frank Mir .

I'm excited to see how dos Santos' career plays out, he has a lot of talent and could be very successful as a heavyweight in the UFC.

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