UFC 131: Junior Dos Santos Ready to Clear Final Hurdle in Carwin Before Shot at Cain Velasquez
Some might call Junior Dos Santos a newcomer to the Octagon, but he is no stranger to the cage after turning pro as a mixed martial artist in 2006 at the age of 21. In just five short years he has amassed an impressive 12-1 record, with six of those wins coming in the past two and half years within the UFC. He's looking for another against Shane Carwin at UFC 131 on June 11.
In his short UFC career Dos Santos has earned two “Knockout of the Night” distinctions as well as earning wins over MMA icons Fabricio Werdum and Mirko Cro Cop. Next Saturday he will face the next major test of his career when he faces off with former UFC interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin in a battle of number one contenders. While some might look at Dos Santos as more of a newcomer, he has actually stepped into the UFC octagon one more time than his opponent.
Dos Santos and Carwin share an amazing number of similarities. Both fighters sport a 12-1 record. None of Carwin’s fights have gone to a decision and the only decision on Dos Santos’ record is against Roy Nelson who is notorious for having a hard head.
Both fighters are clearly knockout artists with Carwin having seven powerful stoppages on his record and Dos Santos eight. Both fighters have not fought in a considerable amount of time either, and it will have been eleven months since Carwin has stepped into the Octagon and ten months for Dos Santos.
On Tuesday afternoon’s UFC conference call, Dos Santos expressed a calm confidence about his upcoming contender’s bout. As a member of the Blackhouse MMA training camp, he trains with some of the best fighters and coaches in the world.
It is in these coaches that he has placed a lot of confidence and leadership in preparing for his upcoming bout. In light of a change in opponent, Junior expressed that his training camp itself did not change but rather his game plan and strategy changed. Whereas Brock Lesnar posed a danger on the ground Carwin poses danger on the feet with his heavy hands.
Dos Santos has his eye focused on the prize. He expressed that he is aiming for the title and Carwin is the last hurdle to overcome before getting his shot. Carwin is definitely a danger on the feet and Dos Santos is definitely preparing for that.
It is set to be a stand up war and many wonder if Carwin will be able to perform to par after coming off surgery. Even with lingering questions Dos Santos it preparing to battle and has put in a lot of work on his boxing. However the fight goes, fans are sure to see an exciting fight as one fighter emerges to be the next opponent for heavy weight champion Cain Valesquez.