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Old 03-19-2010, 07:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dos Santos ready for Gonzaga

Dos Santos ready for Gonzaga in intriguing UFC Live co-headliner Story Highlights
Junior dos Santos meets Gabriel Gonzaga on Sunday (9 p.m. ET, Versus)
Dos Santos has been on an impressive tear since joining the UFC in 2008
They were supposed to meet at UFC 108 before a Gonzaga staph infection

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Junior dos Santos, who faces Gabriel Gonzaga on Sunday at UFC Live, has been on a tear since joining the UFC in 2008.
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images


Of the many things Junior dos Santos takes with him to fight, compassion isn't one. That, said the 25-year-old heavy-fisted Brazilian, is reserved for sparring partners. And even then, not so much.

"The goal is never to hurt someone you're sparring with," said Dos Santos, who ranks alongside Cain Velasquez, 27, among mixed martial arts' fastest rising heavyweights. "But sometimes, when that happens and I hit someone and I can tell they didn't take the punch well, of course it makes me feel bad."

Since joining the UFC in 2008, Dos Santos has provided no quarter to his opposition. Fabricio Werdum went down to a huge uppercut in 81 seconds. Stefan Struve lasted less than a minute. Veteran Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic made into the third round, but endured an obscene amount of damage to do so. And, in January, he violently put away Gilbert Yvel at 2:07 of the opening round.

Sunday in Broomfield, Colo., former UFC heavyweight title contender Gabriel Gonzaga will meet dos Santos in a bout that was originally set for UFC 108 -- until Gonzaga (11-4) fell prey to staph infection. The Brazilian pair have reunited for an intriguing co-headliner on UFC's debut card on Versus (9 p.m. ET).

"I want to fight against the best," dos Santos, 11-1, said through his manager and translator, Ed Soares. "If Gonzaga happens to be on my path to what I want, which is to be UFC champion, that's who I'll face and that's who my focus will be on."

The 6-2, 260-pound Gonzaga has split his last six fights, and while losses to Randy Couture, Fabricio Werdum and Shane Carwin can be understood, there's little to take away from his wins over Justin McCully, Josh Hendricks and Chris Tuchscherer.

Junior dos Santos they ain't.

Power, speed and athleticism -- discovered by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in 2006 after his second career fight, Dos Santos may not reside among today's crop of gigantic heavyweights, but he doesn't anticipate some sort of career handicap as a result.

"I feel that my weight is ideal for heavyweight," said the 6-4, 235-pounder, who is currently ranked eighth by SI.com. "They may be bigger. They may be heavier. But I'm quicker. And just because they're bigger doesn't mean they're stronger."

People who regularly see Dos Santos in the gym, where he's most often described as a tireless worker and brute, can't speak in more glowing terms. He might bust up a sparring partner once in a while like a kid that doesn't know his own strength -- and in some ways that's exactly what he is -- yet Dos Santos is proving to be much more than a Luiz Doria-crafted boxer.

Doria, whom Soares likened to a Brazilian Freddie Roach, is best known for his work with former world junior lightweight and lightweight boxing champion Acelino "Popo" Freitas. The pair have worked beautifully together since since Nogueira, who employed Doria to improve his striking, introduced them four years ago.

In Dos Santos' lone loss, a tapout to armbar in 2007 against Joaquim Ferreira (8-4), his striking wasn't the issue. The submission portion of MMA is still considered the young heavyweight's least refined area, though working with the Nogueira brothers has helped bridge the gap. While he continues to progress on the ground, it seems Dos Santos' main intention is not to go there. Not unless he wants to, at least. Nowhere has his game improved more over the past 18 months than in the wrestling department, which should come in handy against Gonzaga, a big Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who would like nothing more than to work from top position.

"I've taken to it very easily," he said. "It's a lot of hard work but it comes to me naturally and I feel confident with my progress."

On March 27 in Newark, N.J., as part of UFC 111, Frank Mir and Shane Carwin fight for the right to meet UFC champion Brock Lesnar -- "he's very strong," said Dos Santos -- later this summer. A win over Gonzaga would likely keep dos Santos even with Velasquez (8-0), whom Soares expects to emerge as the Brazilian's fiercest rival, in the UFC's heavyweight pecking order.

"Cain is a great fighter," Dos Santos said. "He's coming off some big wins, especially the win off Nogueira. I think he has some momentum. And I think he has some luck on his side. I feel his fight with Nogueira, there was a lot of luck involved in that. But he's a great, strong fighter and he's well-rounded."

Eventually, said Dos Santos, he wants be remembered in the same vein as Nogueira and the man who has reigned atop the division for a decade, Fedor Emelianenko.

"Those two have have been the face of what the heavyweight division is made of," he said. "Where would the heavyweight division be without Rodrigo and without Fedor? That's my goal. That's why I work so hard. To potentially be an idol or hero to somebody the way that Nogueira is a hero to me."


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...antos.gonzaga/

Ed Soares knows whats up. JDS already talking a bit o trash directed at Cain?? luck?? haha. i really think that will be the best HW matchup of all time one day.

JDS vs Cain

while all the humongus freaks of nature take a backseat where they belong. Speed > Size
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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luck involved??

Cain vs. JDS just need to happen!!! There is no better HW battle then that.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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luck involved??

Cain vs. JDS just need to happen!!! There is no better HW battle then that.
if we see Gabe on top of JDS and he does well, i fully agree.

i said one day cuz either way JDS gonna improve, kid looks hungry and he is a great athlete.

I think Dana is smart enough to know this isnt a fight you waste now tho.

This is a fight you make when one of them is Champion. And you put it in Brazil or Mexico.

ppl may disagree. but one of these two will be champion very soon, i see them racing to get there while ppl overrate the giants.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thats true alizio, but that would be the perfect number one contender fight for a shot at Brock in my mind. This would easily be the main event of the night They don't even need a titel fight that night.

But your theory is very logical too!
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by alizio View Post
if we see Gabe on top of JDS and he does well, i fully agree.

i said one day cuz either way JDS gonna improve, kid looks hungry and he is a great athlete.

I think Dana is smart enough to know this isnt a fight you waste now tho.

This is a fight you make when one of them is Champion. And you put it in Brazil or Mexico.

ppl may disagree. but one of these two will be champion very soon, i see them racing to get there while ppl overrate the giants.
yeah i don't see this fight until one is champ and would be promoted as the young top guns finally taking there place as the future of the div.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alizio View Post
if we see Gabe on top of JDS and he does well, i fully agree.

i said one day cuz either way JDS gonna improve, kid looks hungry and he is a great athlete.

I think Dana is smart enough to know this isnt a fight you waste now tho.

This is a fight you make when one of them is Champion. And you put it in Brazil or Mexico.

ppl may disagree. but one of these two will be champion very soon, i see them racing to get there while ppl overrate the giants.

I've been sayin this for months, market them seperately so they can each be sold as making a run at the belt, not x-ing each other out....
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Great article, thanks for that man.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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...I've been calling for JDS & Cain for a year now. I'm sick of repeating it. Dos Santos is gonna knock Gonzaga into tomorrow. He's a stronger, leaner, brutally aggressive striker that has no mercy. Gonzaga has no choice but to take him down and use his heavy top game if he wants a chance to beat him. Going toe to toe with Junior is like stepping in front of a speeding bus. JDS is a wreckingball on his feet. Gabe will get overwhelmed by Junior's vicious attack. If Santos comes out guns blazing, I wouldn't be surprised if Gabe gets finished as fast or faster than what Carwin did...
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It would appear that the young bloods are taking over.

Brock
Carwin
Cain
JDS

vs

Couture
Big Nog
Mir

Mir is the only one left out of the old schoolers to truly contend.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alizio View Post
if we see Gabe on top of JDS and he does well, i fully agree.

i said one day cuz either way JDS gonna improve, kid looks hungry and he is a great athlete.

I think Dana is smart enough to know this isnt a fight you waste now tho.

This is a fight you make when one of them is Champion. And you put it in Brazil or Mexico.

ppl may disagree. but one of these two will be champion very soon, i see them racing to get there while ppl overrate the giants.
Agreed 100%. Whenever these two face, and however the fight goes, it will be known that it's the #1 and #2 HWs in there.


Gonzaga is going to be butchered as a message to the rest of the HWs this Sunday.. And I agree with alizio again: speed, athleticism, and talent push size way to the back. We will see this proven when JDS walks through Carwin or Cain outwrestles Brock.



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