Now that we’re done weeping over Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic‘s career funeral pyre, we might as well turn toward the promise of the future by taking a harder look at the man who beat him at UFC 103 — Junior "Cigano" Dos Santos. What you see in the above video is the lone loss on Dos Santos’ professional record. It happened in November of 2007 when he faced off against submissions specialist Joachim Ferreira. This fight was actually a rematch after Dos Santos beat Ferreira via submission due to exhaustion about seven months earlier. As you can see, the armbar comes when Dos Santos gets a little careless working out of Ferreira’s guard, and the next thing he knows a mild annoyance becomes a fight-ender. So what does this mean? In itself, probably nothing. But it reminds us of something else, and that’s that we have yet to see how Dos Santos does against the kind of ground specialists who populate the American/UFC heavyweight scene. That’s right, I’m talking ’bout wrestlers, son.
What we know about Dos Santos at this point is that he’s a big, aggressive guy who likes to bang. Some combination of all three of those attributes have accounted for all three of his UFC victories, such as this memorable execution via uppercut against Fabricio Werdum in his debut:
But since he came out of the Brazilian leagues and into the UFC, where he faced a jiu-jitsu specialist and two European strikers, we still don’t know if the guy had any takedown defense at all. In a division where the keys to the kingdom are held by a former NCAA wrestling champ, and where (arguably) the top two contenders also specialize in taking people down and then bouncing their heads off the mat with a series of punches, that could end up being important down the road.
So far, we have absolutely no idea what "Cigano" can do against a big meathead looking to put him on his back and negate his kickboxing skills. So what do we do? Well, judging from the video below, we know that he can work from the top, has no problem winning by sheer brutality, and has excellent taste in music. Maybe that’s enough for now.