Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Junior Dos Santos: Am I the Only One?

Anderson Silva and Junior Dos Santos - Official Silver Star Casting Co. And UFC Magazine Pre-Party At Studio 54
     "Dude, what's the big deal? It's just me and my BFF.  It's not like we're holding the moment."
 (For the record, this is not an actual quote.)

 The UFC recently announced that the upcoming season of "The Ultimate Fighter" would be coached by former heavy weight champ, Brock Lesnar, and current contender Junior Dos Santos.  At the culmination of the season, the two will square off in June.

Apparently, the outcome of this battle is a foregone conclusion.

Vegas sports books are already showing Lesnar as a strong underdog.  This prompts me to ask:


Why is Junior Dos Santos considered such a strong heavy weight?  I know that a lot of people will disagree with me, but I have to throw it out there:  JDS's greatest strength is the UFC promotional train behind him.

Let's consider his strengths:

-JDS is very aggressive.  This is a huge asset. You can't fight effectively (or successfully) with out a strong urge to put a hurtin' on your opponent.

-He throws a lot of shots.  Punches in bunches doesn't even begin to describe it.  Junior throws leather until the fight is done.

-He is physically strong.  This in turn leads to heavy hands.  His cardio is pretty good.  You can't throw that many hard shots if you don't have a good gas tank.  Also, there is a certain confidence that comes with seeing your opponent realize that you are physically stronger than they are.

Now, the weaknesses:

-Terrible technique.  While the UFC continues to stress how great his striking is, I, as a striker myself, have to disagree.  He has a tendency to punch from his pockets. The finer nuances that are ingrained in a trained striker are missing from his repotiore.  He just moves forward and punches.

-Footwork?  What's that?  Aggression serves a strong purpose.  If you move forward, you push your opponent back against the cage, eliminating any angles that they might use. The downside is that, if you only push straight forward, you provide your opponent with an opportunity to use footwork and angles to hit you where you don't expect it.

-Who has he faced? Really, think about it.  JDS has had 6 fights in the UFC.  Those 6 fights (from most recent) are as follows:

(And, yes; I know all of these guys can beat my ass.)

1.  Roy Nelson- Great fighter, but 60 pounds too big for the heavy weight division.  He needs to get his diet in order and get down to 205.

2. Gabriel Gonzaga- The only reason that anyone knows who he is is because of "The Kick Heard 'Round the World."  In my opinion, it was a lucky kick that kept him around longer than he should have been.

3.Gilbert Yvel- Old school original? Yup.  Completely and utterly passed by?  Yup yup.

4. Mirko "Cro Cop"- The formula for beating Cro Cop is to put him on his heels.  JDS did this effectively.  Add into effect that Mirko left his heart back in Pride, and you give a win to Junior.

5. Stephan Struve- Massive, gangley, and uncoordinated, he wins against cans, but loses to decent competition.

6. Fabricio Werdum- Despite his recent claim to fame against Fedor, FW was mid level at best.

All we hear is how great of a striker JDS is.  If that is the case, why haven't we seen him against a striker (in his prime)?  Stack him up against Pat Barry, Chiek Kongo, hell, even Matt Mitrione.

The answer is because (as I have mentioned before) the UFC employs a "hype machine" that is incredibly effective at making fighters look better than they are.  They take marketable fighters and build them up.

As much as JDS is expected to win his bought against Brock, this is how I see it going:

JDS comes out strong, punches Brock in the face a couple of times, and backs him against the fence.  Brock will then change levels, secure a double leg, and ground JDS out (BJJ brown belt or not.)

Brock is now heralded as the greatest (former) champ, ever.  The UFC will hype the fight (with the most marketable figure in MMA) as a legitimate threat.

Brock will then face Cain again.

Lose, again, and set up a highly marketable match in Mir vs. Brock III.

I can't wait. ( Insert sarcasm here).


  1. Terrible striking? Gonzaga & Werdum not big wins?

    Hype train aside your so far off, and it's gutted out ur whole article for me. He's a bit club foot but he's got MASSIVELY EFFECTIVE striking for a HW, where he might not be technically perfect he's as good as anyone, Velasquez included, and YEARS ahead of Lesnar; making him the strong favourite when you factor in his TD defense. Sorry not impressed at all with that article or your striking analysis

  2. Firstly, thank you for taking the time to read my site.

    Secondly, everyone is entitled to an opinion, and yours is valid.

    But in debate...

    Gonzaga is a can. His last win was by nut kick stoppage over Chris Tuscherer (and who is that, really?) As I mentioned, if he hadn't knocked out Cro Cop (in that fashion) would you know his name?

    As for Werdum (who I think is a great guy), despite his credentials, success, and experience in BJJ and MMA...if he was so great, why did the UFC cut him loose?

    His striking is ahead of Lesnar's, but striking alone is not MMA. Lesnar has shown his extreme competence on the ground.

    Velasquez is MUCH more technically sound, and hits harder. If they meet (and I am sure they will, eventually,) you'll see the difference.

    I will agree with you that his striking is effective. I meant to convey that, but maybe it didn't come across. but as for being technically sound? No.

    Once again, I ask, if his striking is so great, why haven't we seen him against elite level strikers?

    Thanks again for your time, and I hope to see you back (whether you agree or not.) Hell, let's make a debate article about it, and see how others feel.