Dana White Calls Junior Dos Santos’ Fights Thus Far Very ‘Chuck Liddell Like’

March 30, 2012
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When looking at UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos‘ record inside the Octagon, it’s a pretty impressive list of victories.

The Brazilian started out on day one facing countryman Fabricio Werdum, who was at the time a top ten heavyweight and considered an extremely tough test for any fighter, much less someone making his UFC debut.

Dos Santos knocked him out in the first round.

From there Dos Santos went on to wreak havoc in the UFC’s biggest division picking up wins over Stefan Struve, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Gilbert Yvel, Gabriel Gonzaga, Roy Nelson, Shane Carwin, and then his title fight win over Cain Velasquez.

He now faces former K-1 Grand Prix champion Alistair Overeem for his first title defense, but despite his impressive accolades, UFC president Dana White is still very interested to see how he fares with such a difficult stylistic match-up.

“For me, the question is how is Dos Santos going to deal with the kicks and the knees and the elbows? Since he’s been in the UFC, I’ve never seen him have to deal with that. It’s stuff that he’s going to have to deal with from Alistair Overeem,” White said recently.

White believes that Dos Santos has emulated another of his favorite fighters in Chuck Liddell thus far in his UFC career. Now that is of course a compliment, but it also raises some questions about Dos Santos’ readiness to face a striker as dangerous as Overeem.

“He’s fought a pretty one-dimensional fight, he’s fought very Chuck Liddell like in that he’s great at defending the takedown, he drops bombs, he throws heavy punches, but he’s never dealt with anybody who’s going to throw kicks and knees and work in the clinch the way that Alistair Overeem does,” White stated.

“I’m real curious to see how Junior Dos Santos is planning on dealing with that.”

There’s no question that Overeem’s striking credentials are almost unmatched when it comes to heavyweights competing in MMA.

A devastating power puncher with nasty knees and serious knockout power, Overeem won the 2010 K-1 Grand Prix in kickboxing, and in his UFC debut he punished former champion Brock Lesnar with a body kick before finishing him on the ground with strikes.

Overeem presents a set of skills that Dos Santos might not have seen before in the Octagon, but will it matter?

Tune in to UFC 146 in May to find out.

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  • ultimatebrosky

    1st round knockout… hopefully overeem takes it though 🙂

  • grimsgrind

    JDS with the KO….His hands are the best in MMA. I gaurentee if he went into K1, he would have met Alistair then in the Finals and he would have won then, instead he’s going to knock him out when they meet inside the octagon. Watch in awe as these 2 best HW MMA Fighters in the world go at it!

  • Since Dana is seeing JDS as a bigger Chuck Liddell maybe JDS will handle Overeem as Chuck did and knock him also… A lot of people forget that Chuck knocked Overeem out in Pride tournament…….

    • Lesnardo

      I don’t think anyone forgets Overeem’s PRIDE performance.

      The reason why Sherdog and other websites rank Overeem as #3 (despite his amazing performance against Lesnar) is due to his PRIDE performance, that is, he is still a question mark.

  • isaiasnavarro

    If anything i think chuck was getting handled by overeem! Overeem gas out and he got caught ….

    War overeem !!!

    • Lesnardo

      Overeem used to gas out (or wilt) and get caught in every one of his losses. He always did well in the beginning until he wilts.

    • Cptmats

      Yeh but thats how all Chuck fights were ! He had sloppy wild striking, and terrible striking defense but had ko power on both hands and a granite chin.

      Just like the Overeem fight, he would just hang in long enough to land a big one !

  • Anthony

    Guys ,I dont think you can compare the Overeem that lost to Liddel ,to the Overeem of today–Technically, he was winning that fight before he gassed, as Lesnardo pointed out–but todays Reem is a shredded 265lbs he was 50 plus pounds lighter when he lost to Liddel—I think the streak he is on, winning every belt around (with the exception of the UFC title)has given him the mental confidence he needs to win any fight he takes—Dont get me wrong JDS is a murder machine, and I love his attitude and the way he treats the people around him–No doubt, the guy is a class act–Its gonna be an amazing fight–I cant f@#kin wait!!!! The Reem by KO in the 1st round—The demolition man looks unstoppable—This should be the biggest HWY show down in the history of our sport-This is our generations Ali vs Frazier
    I know thats a bold statement, but you cant denie , as far as the heavyweight division in MMA, this is as good as it gets ,or has ever been.

    • Nah, nowhere near Ali vs. Frazier. Neither Reem, nor JDS deserve to be compared to those idols. Yet. Reem is more versatile, but I think JDS is faster. Reem’s chin is a suspect too. It can go either way.

      • Anthony

        Maybe I did get a lil carried away, ill admit I have a tendacy to do that. The thing is, in a sport this young , with such a promising future , todays champions will become tomorrows lengends—MARK MY WORDS

  • White might be right, Overeem could be the toughest test for Dos Santos in the striking department. Overeem is just so powerful and has so many skills with his knees, kicks, and punches. It will be interesting to see how the fight will unfold.

    Check out this link about the fight http://www.ufcfightblogger.com/news/dana-white-compares-junior-dos-santos-fights-chuck-liddell/

  • Lesnardo

    Dana thought Cain would beat JDS.
    Dana thought Brock would beat Overeem.

    Dana also thought that Chuck Liddell would win the PRIDE MW Tournament.