Junior dos Santos Gets Title Shot with a Win at UFC 160; Mark Hunt? Maybe… Maybe Not

April 30, 2013
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Junior-Dos-Santos-UFC-103_3755Junior dos Santos is in line for a quick return shot at the UFC heavyweight title… if he gets past Mark Hunt at UFC 160 on May 25 in Las Vegas.

It’s not at all surprising that dos Santos, just one fight removed from losing to current champion Cain Velasquez, hasn’t fallen far down the heavyweight ladder.

His record currently stands at 15-2, the loss to Velasquez being the only one during his UFC tenure, which spans 10 bouts and dates back to 2008. Perhaps more important than his overall record, though, is his standing in the championship ranks.

dos Santos defeated Velasquez to capture the UFC heavyweight championship at the first UFC on Fox in November of 2011. He knocked Velasquez out little more than a minute into the fight. Then dos Santos defended the belt with a second-round TKO stoppage of former titleholder Frank Mir.

Velasquez took the belt back from dos Santos at UFC 155 in December. Velasquez dominated, but couldn’t put dos Santos away, needing all five rounds to recapture the title.

Should dos Santos defeat Hunt – and especially if Velasquez successfully defends his belt against Antonio Silva on the same card – it makes sense for the UFC to put together a rubber match. But even if Silva wins, it’s difficult to deny that a victorious dos Santos shouldn’t be the top contender.

But what about Mark Hunt?

Shouldn’t he take dos Santos’ place if he pulls off the upset?

That’s what was initially thought, but it doesn’t appear that the decision is as clear-cut as we once thought.

“If (Hunt) knocks Junior dos Santos out, I mean, how is this guy not next in line?  It would be crazy to think that he couldn’t,” said UFC president Dana White in early March, shortly after Hunt stepped into the dos Santos fight for an injured Alistair Overeem.

Asked if the Hunt vs. dos Santos fight is a No. 1 contender bout, White answered, “I would have to say yeah.”

He has since backtracked on that statement.

Following Roy Nelson’s victory over Cheick Kongo at UFC 159 on Saturday night, White confirmed that dos Santos still gets a title shot if he defeats Hunt, but revealed that they may have other plans in mind for Hunt should he win.

“Me and Joe (Silva, UFC matchmaker) never talk about fights the night of the fights, but we talked tonight,” said White. “And we like Roy Nelson vs. (Daniel) Cormier; or Roy Nelson – if Mark Hunt wins – Roy and Mark.”

Until a fight is signed on the dotted line, however, there is always some wiggle room.

Cormier has yet to reveal whether or not he is staying at heavyweight for his next fight or dropping down to the 205-pound division. That is a key factor in whether or not Nelson vs. Cormier could come together, although Cormier on Saturday night sounded more than open to the opportunity.

“Hey @danawhite ur right I think Roy nelson and I would be a damn good fight,” he tweeted, while the press conference was ongoing. “How about it @roynelsonmma?”

Hunt could just as easily sway consideration for a title shot to his favor if he crushes dos Santos the way that he has three of his past four opponents.

As White said, “If he knocks Junior dos Santos out, how is this guy not next in line?”

Only one this is for certain, there are several enticing UFC heavyweight match-ups coming in the near future.

(Follow @KenPishna on Twitter)

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  • Edd

    Mexico Mexico Mexico!!!!!!!

    • urdooomb

      Mexico = a land that was once populated by savages, raped by Spaniards, and now exploited and laughed at by USA.

      • earlsimmons

        “Mexico = a land that was once populated by savages”.
        Let me be the first to correct you bro because last time i checked it IS still populated by savages. those people are disgusting.

        • urdooomb

          What do you find disgusting about them? You are messed up if you think dwarf height, greasy black haired brown smelly farmers are disgusting.

          • Whiteboy

            @urdoomb… Exploited and laughed at by USA but… American women love them, most are more successful and harder working than you and that’s probably why you’re jealous!! Haha. Oh and Cain is Mexican and he’s the baddest man on the planet! Mexico=USA.

          • urdooomb

            White american girls do not love mexicans. They love white american dudes.

            I am jealous of guys cleaning the lobby of my apartment at 2am in the morning just to make $5 an hour????

            USA > Mexico.

            I am not being a racist bro. But your brown pride antic is laughable.

      • Dr Imhotep AlBasiel

        those so called savages were the black Olmec Brown aztec,s who had a science 2-5+ k year old science before white europeans but of course the first europeans were black like all other nations,

        • Dr Imhotep AlBasiel

          the savages are the ones who murdered 100 + million in north south america and austrilia tasmania africa ect ect could that be you ? savages no one is a savage unless they act like one !polluting the planet killing the animals for sport give me a funking break your time is coming the aliens are looking at you and saying! take them out!

          • Imhotep Al-Basiel

            WE ARE ONE WORLD FAMILY

          • Imhotep Al-Basiel

            ONE RACE HUEWOMAN RACE!

  • http://twitter.com/linkED20 linkED20

    With respect, Cain Vs Roy = another massacre, I honestly doubt his BJJ will come much into play here but I could be wrong. Roy has a punchers chance so did JDS last time and nada!
    Same thing with Hunt, but even more of a domination, I don’t really see anyone that is as well rounded that can take actually give Cain a run for his money. His heavy hands, vicious ground and pound and relentless attack just dominates opponents, and I have him winning these guys 9/10(8/10 for Roy BJJ) with that 1/10 being Cain getting a nice dose of KTFO.

    • Neuri

      Cain with his powerful take downs will pose a large problem for Hunt and JDS

    • urdooomb

      nice Cain nuthuggery.

  • Cereal Killer

    I can’t believe we are saying the words Mark Hunt and UFC title in the same sentence. I don’t think he’ll get past JDS, so this is all for nothing. I hope Junior got his head cleared of the marital problems.

    • UFC Politics Suck

      Junior Dos Santos is a striker. He will strike with Hunt. Hunt is a legitimate striker as well. In fact he may even be a better striker. I think if it were Cain vs. Hunt then it wouldn’t be too good for Hunt because of the wrestling, but Dos Santos? I think he he is tailor-made for Hunt’s style.

      • Sir_Roy

        I agree. Hunt’s a hell of a power puncher. He connects, and it’s lights out. Dos Santos does not have the same knockout power as Hunt but he does have quicker hands.

        This is a far more dangerous fight for JDS than many might believe. But if JDS prevents Hunt from closing the distance, keeps him at range, I can see JDS beating on Hunt for three rounds. He had just better not get caught.

        • Mark Fareas

          It boggles my mind that people think Hunt has no chance against JDS lol. I love JDS he’s one of the best heavyweights in the world but people clearly just don’t know ANYTHING about Mark Hunt. JDS is a striker and has pretty much no ground game from what we’ve seen. Yes we’ve heard that he has great jiu-jitsu but you can’t believe everything you hear and considering the complete lack of submission attempts on Velasquez in their last fight, it’s safe to say that Hunt can hang with him on the ground after seeing him impressively avoid being submitted by Struve. If it stays standing (which it probly will) Hunt has the advantage. Anyone who doesn’t see that is an idiot. Not only does Hunt hit harder but he’s a more technical and accurate striker. He is a former K-1 World GP champion people!!! The highest level of striking in the world. JDS doesn’t have anywhere near the experience has in the striking department. The only things JDS has in his favor is youth and speed obviously but people also underestimate Hunt’s hand speed and he might even have an advantage in that department as well. All in all, no one knows what will happen until it happens but one thing’s for sure. If Hunt wins the fight, whether it be by KO or decision. No one who knows anything about him will be surprised.

  • http://twitter.com/julianmoranart julian moran

    If Hunt wins, he deserves a title shot. However Hunt would not do so well against Cain Velasquez.

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnmarkodejar John Mark Reyes

    Make sense!

  • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

    JDS vs Bigfoot would be pretty cool. I hope everyone still wants JDS vs Reem. Some of the best champions in the world have suffered losses so don’t hold the Bigfoot fight against him like he’s a nobody. Nelson/Cormier sounds like a good fight. I counted out Hunt against Kongo even though I am a fan of him. But I apologize because once again I am going against him in the JDS fight.

  • http://twitter.com/EncoroEncuero encoro-encuero

    Where the hell is Fabricio Werdum?

    • urdooomb

      He will never get a title shot simply because Dana doesn’t like him/his style.

      Mind you, Dana kicked him out for nonperformance related reasons back in the days. I don’t know the whole story behind it though.