Junior dos Santos
|Junior dos Santos|
|Born||Junior dos Santos|
30 January 1984
Caçador, Santa Catarina, Brazil
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Weight||247 lb (112 kg; 17 st 9 lb)|
|Division||Heavyweight (2006, 2008−present)|
Light Heavyweight (2007)
|Reach||77.0 in (196 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Salvador, Bahia, Brazil|
|Team||American Top Team|
|Trainer||Boxing & MMA: Luiz Dorea|
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Yuri Carlton
|Rank||Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Yuri Carlton|
|Years active||2006–present (mixed martial arts)|
2021–present (professional wrestling)
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Junior dos Santos (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈʒũnjoʁ dus ˈsɐ̃tus]; born 30 January 1984) is a Brazilian mixed martial artist and professional wrestler who competes in the Heavyweight division of Eagle FC. As a mixed martial artist, he is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion; as a professional wrestler, Dos Santos makes appearances for All Elite Wrestling (AEW) as a member of the American Top Team.
Dos Santos and his two siblings were raised by a single mother, Maria, after his alcoholic father, Sebastian, left the family in the mid-1990s. He started to work at the age of ten in order to help his family. He trained in capoeira throughout his teenage years before he began taking martial arts seriously at 21, when he began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Yuri Carlton. After six months of training, Dos Santos won a few jiu-jitsu tournaments in Salvador. One year later, Dos Santos was invited to join a boxing practice by a friend, where he met his boxing coach Luiz Carlos Dórea. Dórea also trained mixed martial arts, and roughly a year after he started training in boxing, he had his debut professional fight.
Mixed martial arts career
Dos Santos turned professional in 2006, at the age of 22. He fought in small promotions in Brazil, such as Demo Fight, Extreme Fighting Championship, Minotauro Fights and Mo Team League. He won six of his first seven bouts, suffering his only loss to Joaquim Ferreira, a fighter he had previously beaten.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (2008–2021)
Dos Santos debuted for the UFC on 25 October 2008 at UFC 90. Considered a major underdog, he knocked out top contender Fabrício Werdum at a minute and twenty seconds of the first round, earning himself a "Knockout of the Year" award.
On 19 September 2009, Dos Santos continued his winning streak and defeated Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 103. During the third round Dos Santos dominated Cro Cop in the clinch with knee strikes and punches. A knee from the clinch and a right uppercut apparently caused damage to Mirko's left eye, causing him to submit verbally.
UFC 108 scheduled a fight between Dos Santos and Gabriel Gonzaga. However, Gonzaga pulled out of the bout on 25 November 2009 due to a staph infection. Instead, on 2 January 2010, Dos Santos fought Gilbert Yvel, winning the fight via TKO at two minutes and seven seconds of the first round.
Heavyweight title contender (2010–2011)
Dos Santos faced Roy Nelson on 7 August 2010, at UFC 117. The fight saw Dos Santos use a variety of strikes and, for the first time, a successful takedown. Despite Dos Santos's striking ability, Nelson was able to stay in the fight, resulting in the fight going to decision. Dos Santos won the fight via unanimous decision. Following the win, Dos Santos was expected[by whom?] to challenge Cain Velasquez for the heavyweight title. However, a torn rotator cuff suffered by Velasquez side-lined the champion for nearly a year.
On 11 January 2011, the president of the UFC, Dana White, announced that Dos Santos would be one of the coaches of The Ultimate Fighter Season 13, opposite Brock Lesnar. They were scheduled to face each other on 11 June 2011, at UFC 131, but Lesnar pulled out of the bout due to a recurrence of diverticulitis and was replaced by Shane Carwin. Dos Santos dominated Carwin and won the fight via unanimous decision, relying predominantly on his boxing skills, but showed more variety in his game by landing a couple of kicks and completing two takedowns in the third round.
UFC Heavyweight Champion (2011–2012)
Dos Santos faced Cain Velasquez at UFC on Fox 1 for the UFC Heavyweight Championship on 12 November 2011. He won the fight via knockout at 64 seconds into the first round. The performance also earned him his third "Knockout of the Night" award. After the fight, it was revealed that he had a torn meniscus in his knee; he subsequently underwent a successful knee surgery.
Dos Santos was scheduled to face Alistair Overeem on 26 May 2012 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena at UFC 146. On 4 April 2012, the Nevada State Athletic Commission announced Overeem had failed a pre-fight drug test. Consequently, Overeem's request for a license was denied. On 20 April 2012, Dana White the UFC president announced Frank Mir would be replacing Overeem. Dos Santos was able to keep the fight standing, showing his superior boxing skills, eventually winning via KO in the second round.
A rematch against Cain Velasquez was expected on 22 September 2012 at UFC 152. However, it was later announced by Dana White that the fight would take place in Las Vegas on 29 December 2012 at UFC 155. Dos Santos lost via unanimous decision. This marked the first time Dos Santos had suffered a loss in the UFC. Dos Santos later claimed that he was training so hard prior to the bout with Velasquez that he developed rhabdomyolysis, a (sometimes fatal) breakdown of muscle fibers that releases their contents into the bloodstream, and that the condition affected his performance during the fight.
Back into contention (2013–2021)
Dos Santos was expected to face Alistair Overeem on 25 May 2013 at UFC 160. However, in early March, Overeem pulled out of the bout citing an injury. The bout was expected to be rescheduled for a future event, However, on 9 March, UFC President Dana White confirmed that Dos Santos's next opponent would be Mark Hunt at the same event. Dos Santos won the fight via third-round knockout. This fight earned both participants Fight of the Night award.
A third fight with Cain Velasquez took place on 19 October 2013 at UFC 166. Although Dos Santos experienced more moments of success than in their second fight, he was still dominated by Velasquez for most of the fight. He lost via TKO at 3:09 of the fifth round.
Dos Santos was expected to face Stipe Miocic on 24 May 2014 at UFC 173. However, the bout was delayed and was scheduled to take place a week later on 31 May 2014 at The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale. However, on 5 May, it was announced that Dos Santos pulled out of the fight citing a hand injury and he was replaced by Fábio Maldonado.
A rescheduled bout with Miocic took place as the main event at UFC on Fox 13 on 13 December 2014. Dos Santos won the back-and-forth fight via unanimous decision. The performance earned both participants Fight of the Night honors.
After a year away from the sport, Dos Santos had the three-years-delayed fight with Alistair Overeem which took place on 19 December 2015 at UFC on Fox 17. He lost the bout by technical knockout in the second round.
Dos Santos was originally expected to face Stefan Struve in a rematch on 19 February 2017 at UFC Fight Night 105. However on 12 January, Struve pulled out due to a shoulder injury. Despite having over six weeks before the event, promotion officials elected to remove Dos Santos from the event instead of having him face a replacement.
Dos Santos faced Stipe Miocic on 13 May 2017 at UFC 211 for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. He had previously beaten Miocic by unanimous decision at UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Miocic in 2014. Dos Santos lost the fight via TKO in the first round.
Dos Santos was expected to face Francis Ngannou on 9 September 2017 at UFC 215. However, on 18 August, Dos Santos was pulled from the match after being notified of a potential USADA violation. On 24 April 2018 Dos Santos was cleared of intentionally using of Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) by USADA, after it was determined he had taken tainted supplements which contained hydrochlorothiazide from the compounding pharmacies in Brazil. He became eligible to compete on 24 April 2018.
On 3 March 2021, it was announced that Dos Santos had been released from the UFC.
Eagle Fighting Championship
Dos Santos made his Eagle FC debut against Yorgan De Castro on 20 May 2022 at Eagle FC 47. Dos Santos outstruck De Castro for most of the bout, but would go on to lose by technical knockout due to a doctor stoppage after suffering a shoulder injury early in the third round.
Professional wrestling career
All Elite Wrestling (2021–present)
In the summer of 2021, Dos Santos began making appearances for the professional wrestling promotion All Elite Wrestling, backing American Top Team head Dan Lambert along with ATT affiliated fighters Andrei Arlovski, Paige VanZant, Austin Vanderford, Dalton Rosta, and Jorge Masvidal. They formed an alliance with Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky, otherwise known as the Men of the Year (both of which have legitimate extensive martial arts backgrounds, with Scorpio Sky having fought in MMA competition). On the 6 October edition of AEW Dynamite, it was announced that Dos Santos would be making his professional wrestling debut on the 15 October edition of AEW Rampage, teaming with Sky and Page to take on Jake Hager, Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara (The Inner Circle) in a trios match.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed Martial Arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- UFC Heavyweight Championship (One time)
- One successful title defense
- Knockout of the Night (Three times) vs. Fabrício Werdum, Gabriel Gonzaga and Cain Velasquez
- Fight of the Night (Three times) vs. Mark Hunt, Stipe Miocic and Derrick Lewis
- Longest winning streak in UFC Heavyweight division history (9)
- 2nd most knockout wins in UFC Heavyweight history (10) - tied with Cain Velasquez
- FIGHT! Magazine
- Upset of the Year (2008) vs. Fabrício Werdum
On 9 March 2017, Dos Santos's first child, a boy, was born. Dos Santos's second child was born in May 2019 and was named Maria, after his mother.
Dos Santos featured as one of the contestants for Dança dos Famosos, the Brazilian version of Dancing with the Stars, which started on 25 August 2019 at Globo’s "Domingão do Faustão". Dos Santos was eliminated from the competition on 1 December 2019, placing fifth.
Mixed martial arts record
|31 matches||21 wins||10 losses|
|Loss||21–10||Yorgan De Castro||TKO (shoulder injury)||Eagle FC 47||20 May 2022||3||0:35||Miami, Florida, United States|
|Loss||21–9||Ciryl Gane||TKO (elbow)||UFC 256||12 December 2020||2||2:34||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||21–8||Jairzinho Rozenstruik||TKO (punches)||UFC 252||15 August 2020||2||3:47||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||21–7||Curtis Blaydes||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. dos Santos||25 January 2020||2||1:06||Raleigh, North Carolina, United States|
|Loss||21–6||Francis Ngannou||TKO (punches)||UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. dos Santos||29 June 2019||1||1:11||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States|
|Win||21–5||Derrick Lewis||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. dos Santos||9 March 2019||2||1:58||Wichita, Kansas, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||20–5||Tai Tuivasa||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: dos Santos vs. Tuivasa||2 December 2018||2||2:30||Adelaide, Australia|
|Win||19–5||Blagoy Ivanov||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: dos Santos vs. Ivanov||14 July 2018||5||5:00||Boise, Idaho, United States|
|Loss||18–5||Stipe Miocic||TKO (punches)||UFC 211||13 May 2017||1||2:22||Dallas, Texas, United States||For the UFC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||18–4||Ben Rothwell||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Rothwell vs. dos Santos||10 April 2016||5||5:00||Zagreb, Croatia|
|Loss||17–4||Alistair Overeem||TKO (punches)||UFC on Fox: dos Anjos vs. Cowboy 2||19 December 2015||2||4:43||Orlando, Florida, United States|
|Win||17–3||Stipe Miocic||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Miocic||13 December 2014||5||5:00||Phoenix, Arizona, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Loss||16–3||Cain Velasquez||TKO (slam and punch)||UFC 166||19 October 2013||5||3:09||Houston, Texas, United States||For the UFC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||16–2||Mark Hunt||KO (spinning hook kick)||UFC 160||25 May 2013||3||4:18||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||UFC Heavyweight title eliminator. Fight of the Night.|
|Loss||15–2||Cain Velasquez||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 155||29 December 2012||5||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Lost the UFC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||15–1||Frank Mir||TKO (punches)||UFC 146||26 May 2012||2||3:04||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Defended the UFC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||14–1||Cain Velasquez||KO (punches)||UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos||12 November 2011||1||1:04||Anaheim, California, United States||Won the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Knockout of the Night.|
|Win||13–1||Shane Carwin||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 131||11 June 2011||3||5:00||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada||UFC Heavyweight title eliminator.|
|Win||12–1||Roy Nelson||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 117||7 August 2010||3||5:00||Oakland, California, United States|
|Win||11–1||Gabriel Gonzaga||TKO (punches)||UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones||21 March 2010||1||3:53||Broomfield, Colorado, United States||Knockout of the Night.|
|Win||10–1||Gilbert Yvel||TKO (punches)||UFC 108||2 January 2010||1||2:07||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||9–1||Mirko Cro Cop||TKO (submission to punch)||UFC 103||19 September 2009||3||2:00||Dallas, Texas, United States|
|Win||8–1||Stefan Struve||TKO (punches)||UFC 95||21 February 2009||1||0:54||London, England|
|Win||7–1||Fabrício Werdum||TKO (punches)||UFC 90||25 October 2008||1||1:20||Rosemont, Illinois, United States||Knockout of the Night.|
|Win||6–1||Geronimo dos Santos||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Demo Fight 3||24 May 2008||1||0:44||Salvador, Brazil||Return to Heavyweight.|
|Loss||5–1||Joaquim Ferreira||Submission (armbar)||MTL: Final||10 November 2007||1||1:13||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Win||5–0||Jair Gonçalves||TKO (punches)||Mo Team League 2||29 September 2007||1||2:52||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Win||4–0||Joaquim Ferreira||TKO (retirement)||XFC: Brazil||29 April 2007||1||5:00||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||3–0||Edson Ramos||TKO (doctor stoppage)||XFC: Brazil||29 April 2007||1||8:45||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Light Heavyweight debut.|
|Win||2–0||Eduardo Maiorino||Submission (guillotine choke)||Minotauro Fights 5||9 December 2006||1||0:50||São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil|
|Win||1–0||Jailson Silva Santos||KO (soccer kick)||Demo Fight 1||16 July 2006||1||2:58||Salvador, Brazil|
|1.||UFC 103||dos Santos vs. Cro Cop (co)||September 9, 2009||American Airlines Center||Dallas, Texas||375,000|
|2.||UFC 131||dos Santos vs. Carwin||June 11, 2011||Rogers Arena||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada||325,000|
|3.||UFC 146||dos Santos vs. Mir||May 26, 2012||MGM Grand Garden Arena||Las Vegas, Nevada||560,000|
|4.||UFC 155||dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2||December 29, 2012||MGM Grand Garden Arena||Las Vegas, Nevada||590,000|
|5.||UFC 160||dos Santos vs. Hunt (co)||May 25, 2013||MGM Grand Garden Arena||Las Vegas, Nevada||380,000|
|6.||UFC 166||Velasquez vs. dos Santos III||October 19, 2013||Toyota Center||Houston, Texas||330,000|
|7.||UFC 211||Miocic vs. dos Santos 2||May 13, 2017||American Airlines Center||Dallas, Texas||300,000|
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- Mike Heck and Guilherme Cruz (28 October 2020). "Junior dos Santos vs. Ciryl Gane added to UFC 256 fight card". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- Doherty, Dan (12 December 2020). "UFC 256 Results: Ciryl Gane Stays Undefeated, Stops Junior dos Santos". Cageside Press. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- Martin, Damon (3 March 2021). "Former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos released from the UFC". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
- "Junior dos Santos books May 20 Eagle FC debut". ESPN.com. 9 March 2022. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
- "Eagle FC 47 results: Junior Dos Santos' shoulder pops out, causing TKO loss to Yorgan De Castro". Retrieved 21 May 2022.
- Alexander K. Lee (7 October 2021). "Video: Junior dos Santos gets physical with champion in AEW segment, set for pro wrestling debut next week". MMAFighting.com. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
- "Fighter Stats". Fight Metric. Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
- "MMAjunkie's 'Fight of the Month' for December 2014". MMAjunkie. 25 December 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- Breen, Jordan (10 January 2011). "Third Team". M.sherdog.com. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Breen, Jordan (6 January 2012). "First Team". M.sherdog.com. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- "Junior Dos Santos – Official UFC® Profile". UFC.com. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
- "Recém-separado, Junior Cigano revela: 'Estou doido para ver a família'" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 22 January 2013.
- Junior Dos Santos [@junior_cigano] (9 March 2017). "Ele chegou / he's here" (Tweet). Retrieved 28 August 2022 – via Twitter.
- Cruz, Guilherme (18 August 2019). "Junior dos Santos joins Brazil's 'Dancing with the Stars' cast". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
- "Junior Dos Santos' debut on 'Dancing With The Stars' was perfect in every way". MMA Junkie. 3 September 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
- Guilherme Cruz (2 December 2019). "Junior dos Santos eliminated from Brazil's Dancing With The Stars". mmafighting.com.
- Sherdog.com. "Junior". Sherdog. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
- "UFC 103: Franklin vs. Belfort | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
- "UFC 131: Carwin vs. Dos Santos | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
- "UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Mir | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
- "UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2 | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
- "UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Silva 2 | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
- "UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3 | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
- "UFC 211: Miocic vs. Dos Santos 2 | MMA Event". Tapology. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
- Official website
- Professional MMA record for Junior dos Santos from Sherdog
- Junior Dos Santos at UFC