Junior dos Santos will look to reclaim the UFC heavyweight title later tonight (Sat., May 13, 2017) at UFC 211 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, when he takes on surging champion Stipe Miocic. The Brazilian knockout artist has beaten Miocic once before, earning a unanimous decision victory back in 2014, but the champ has evolved since then and looks primed for an extended stay atop the divisional throne.
As JDS enters UFC 211 with a 4-3 record since the start of 2012, he needs to prove that he has returned to championship form and is able to capture victory without succumbing to defeat his next time out. In fact, dos Santos hasn’t won back-to-back fights since 2011-2012, while Miocic has produced a four-fight win streak on the heels of four crushing knockout defeats. For “Cigano” to disrupt Miocic’s momentum and become a two-time world champion he’s going to have to be at an all-time best, which is why the Brazilian will be your “Fighter to Watch” tonight in Dallas.
When you take a step back and look at what dos Santos has done throughout his UFC career, it’s evident that the friendly heavyweight has been one of the division’s best for the past 10 years. Outside of Cain Velasquez, JDS has only lost to Alistair Overeem inside of the Octagon, and that came after a one-year layoff following JDS’ initial win over Miocic. He has seven UFC knockout victories to his name, has never lost back-to-back fights and has headlined eight times out of his last 10 fights (including UFC 211).
But in a division so volatile as heavyweight, past endeavors and former accomplishments do little to assure success in the future. Luckily for “Cigano,” he’s one of the younger names ranked within the top 10. At just 33 years of age, JDS has a ton of fights left and is sure to evolve as a fighter after joining American Top Team just three years ago. One way or another, dos Santos will write a new chapter in his career this evening in Texas, as he aims to knock off a serious champion hellbent on keeping his title.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 211 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FX at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.