In advance of this weekend’s UFC 146 headlining match between Junior Dos Santos and Frank Mir, FuelTV has released video of JDS’s Octagon debut at UFC 90 in October 2008. At the time, Dos Santos was 6-1 prospect, completely unknown outside of Brazil, facing a seasoned grappling expert and PRIDE/UFC vet whose list of victims included Alistair Overeem, Alexander Emelianenko, Gabriel Gonzaga (twice) and Brandon Vera, all of whom Werdum beat by stoppage. We gave Junior zero chance to win — and he shocked us all with a earth-shaking uppercut that permanently altered the power-balance in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
Following the fight, the UFC cut Werdum after he refused to re-sign for less money, and JDS went on the greatest contender run in UFC history, culminating in a 64-second knockout of champion Cain Velasquez. Watch the video above to see how it all started, two and a half years ago.