UFC Fight Night 133 Preview

ufc-fn133In 2010 the heavyweight division was looking up with some very big name beginning to take hold of the division.

One of those names was Junior Dos Santos who rose through the division with his unique boxing ability along with his BJJ background.

His technique had some legendary heavyweights on their back foot as he went through some of the biggest names in the division.

Wins against Gabriel Gonzaga, Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin earned him a shot against the new champion, Cain Velasquez.

That win earned him the title and set off an interesting time in the division that was defined by that rivalry.

Dos Santos defended his title once against Frank Mir and it seemed like the heavyweight division was going to see a new era.

A rematch against Velasquez turned out to be the end of his reign and that is where the bright career of the young Brazilian began to take a turn for the worse.

From that Velasquez loss, dos Santos never seemed to be the same taking some impressive wins only to lose momentum the net fight.

A comeback win against Mark Hunt led to a trilogy fight with Velasquez that ended with Velasquez retaining his title which then led to dos Santos trying to find his way back to that title.

The chase of that title defines so many fighters in MMA as many stay around too long and never get that chance at a belt.

For dos Santos, the feeling of that belt is all too real as he was able to actually get that feeling.

Now he remains chasing that title and trying to get back on top of the heavyweight division which might make things tougher.

At 34, dos Santos is not at the beginning of his career although heavyweights do have a longer lifespan typically.

He knows he can be the best in the world though and to put that aside and not pursue that title with every step is a tough thing to do.

Every fighter is always looking for that title but some do it in very different ways looking to build their way up.

When you are at the level of dos Santos building up is not an easy thing to do as he has a name and is a former champ.

Fighting those lower level guys would be a big step back for a former champion and when a former champion can get tougher fights they take those fight.mma-sidebar.fw

That has been the case with dos Santos who is looking to get right back into the fold with big fights but fights that he is simply not ready for at that moment.

Sometimes jumping into the deep end of the pool can do more harm than good especially after a tough loss.

Since losing to Velasquez, dos Santos has been pretty inactive with only four fights since 2014 thanks to fight cancellations and injuries.

When he did get back to fighting he took on the biggest names in the division in Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem and Ben Rothwell.

That hasn’t been the best strategy as he lost two of the four fights in that time and has never really been able to move up.

After more than a year off due to a USADA violation, this is another chance for the former champion to find his way back into the mix in the heavyweight division.

He is taking a slightly different approach as well with his next opponent a younger and less established fighter.

It doesn’t mean it will be easy as Blagoi Ivanov has been impressive in his time in what is now known as the Professional Fighters League.

With five straight wins and three of those wins by finish he has earned his spot in the roster but has a tough challenge ahead of him.

This is the fight that dos Santos needs as he looks to put those USADA issues behind him and begin a climb back into the top of the division.

This is a different test for dos Santos though as he is beginning at the bottom with a fighter making his debut in his way of becoming a contender once again.


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