Junior dos Santos
Junior dos Santos Almeida is a Brazilian mixed martial artist born on the 30th of January 1984. He is the former UFC heavyweight champion. He has a black belt in BJJ under Yuri Carlton.
“Cigano” was born into a poor family and raised by a single mother. He started working at the age of 10 to help his family. He started training BJJ under Yuri Carlton at 21 years old and started winning competitions after only a few months of training. He was invited to a MMA gym where he met his boxing coach Luiz Carlos Dórea. He made his MMA debut after he started training BJJ.
Junior dos Santos’ career before the UFC
Junior dos Santos made his MMA debut in 2006 and won his first fight by soccer kick knockout. He won his first 5 fights before his first defeat to Joaquim Ferreira by TKO in the first round.
After winning one fight after the loss he signed with the UFC for a short notice fight.
Junior dos Santos’ career in the UFC
“Cigano” made his UFC debut against veteran Fabricio Werdum at UFC 90 on October 25th 2008. Dos Santos knocked Werdum out with an uppercut less than 2 minutes into the first round. Dos Santos continued winning against top ranked competition like Stefan Struve, Gabriel Gonzaga, Roy Nelson and defeated Shane Carwin in a title eliminator. He faced off with the champion riding a 7-fight win streak in the UFC, where he finished 5 of the 7 fights.
Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez I
Junior dos Santos faced off with undefeated heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in the main event of the first ever fight card on FOX. The highly anticipated match didn’t last long as dos Santos knocked Velasquez out a minute into the fight and was now the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion of the world.
Dos Santos defended his title against former champion Frank Mir on UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Mir. He won by TKO in the 2nd round. He rematched Velasquez in December of 2012 and lost a unanimous decision.
He rebounded with a spinning hook kick knockout of top contender Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt and earned another shot at Velasquez. The two had another war but Velasquez finished dos Santos in the 5th round after a slam and follow up punches.
He was supposed to fight at UFC 215: Nunes vs. Shevchenko 2 but was forced off the card due to a potential USADA violation.
Junior dos Santos’ next fight in the UFC
Due to the USADA violation, dos Santos comeback is not yet decided.