Will JDS rule UFC Heavyweight Division
It has been more than a year since we watched Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos (18-4 MMA, 12-3 UFC) fighting in the octagon. In this fight in Zagreb Croatia he fought Ben Rothwell. JDS was much better than in his previous fights, he was tactical, precise, took his time and picked Ben Rothwell apart. That victory helped him being close to fighting for the title. “Cigano” was originally scheduled to face Stefan Struve on Feb. 19, but the Dutch fighter pulled out with an injury. As a result, the UFC gave the Brazilian a shot at the heavyweight champion instead. We all hope Junior will come back stronger than ever, be “old” himself, the one that has been rampaging through the division 5 years ago, and he will need all that and more to be able to fight and win against his next opponent.
Cigano recently stated
“I’m just 33 years old now, you know. I have a long time to be fighting still, so I knew I could regain my chance to fight for the title, and it’s happening now,” he said. “I can tell you, all these guys from heavyweight division, they know I’m the real deal here. I’m not playing here. I’m taking this very seriously and I have enough skills to be the No. 1.”
JDS continued, “He [Stipe] did very well in that fight, that was a hell of a fight we had, and, man, I’m not surprised that he’s knocking all these guys out. He hits very hard. I told you, I have this feeling I’m fighting against the No. 1 guy right now, the best heavyweight in this scenario now. I’m fighting against him, and that’s motivation because I know many things happened in the past, but now things are different. This guy is reality for this division, so that’s why I’m training so hard and taking this very seriously because I know I have a very tough opponent to beat.”
“My gosh, I watched that (fight) many, many times,” “Cigano” said. “Last time was two weeks ago, something like that. Sometimes I take a look because after they told me that I was fighting him again, I was taking a look again in our fight, his last fights too, because we need to study him now a little bit better. He’s hitting a little harder now [laughs], so that makes me very excited.”
Now, over 2 years later we have the rematch. JDS will fight the champ, Stipe Miocic (16-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC), the proud Croat. Some say, he will be “bigger” than CroCop. Perhaps he already is. Stipe is on 4 fights winning streak and the last loss was against JDS. They met on December 13, 2014 at “UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Miocic” in Phoenix, Arizona. This was of course a “fight of the night”, where after 25 minutes later JDS’ hand has been raised up. There are people who think Stepe has won that fight, but the reality is Cigano has been more active and more precise. The unanimous decision by three referees was decisive.
Stipe, on the other hand is the reigning, defending, undisputed, heavyweight champion of the world. He is in on the top of his game and he was never better. Stipe has defeated Fabrício Werdum to get the title and Alistair Overeem to defend it.
Cigano has recently stated that this time he might finish Stipe within the second round. Knowing what we know about the first fight and strength and weakness of both champs, it is very likely that knockout can happen. However, Cigano has survived all heavy shots thrown at him by the mighty Croat. Unless Stipe starts wrestling and utilizing his grappling skills, he might end up being defeated again. Standing with JDS for 5 rounds might lead to unanimous decision, agian. No one in UFC heavyweight division can defeat JDS in pure boxing. Cain knew that after their first fight. Cigano is a master boxer in the UFC heavyweight division and even though Stipe is good too, sadly, not good enough.
Will JDS rule the UFC Heavyweight Division again?
So, yes, Cigano can be a champion again, if fight does not go to the ground, it is more likely JDS will prevail. He is emotionally strong, he is ready.
We all know what to expect at UFC 211 on May 13 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Fighters know what to expect too, it is going to be a war and there is going to be a champion.
At least until Cain Velasquez gets back…