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Should Junior dos Santos move down to Light Heavyweight (Opinion)

Junior dos Santos
Junior dos Santos
ANALYST
Modified 26 Aug 2020, 14:25 IST
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Junior dos Santos hasn't had the kind of performances he would have expected in his last few fights. The former Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos lost his third straight fight after succumbing to a brutal TKO loss against top prospect Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 252. Earlier, dos Santos suffered stoppage losses against Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou.

Junior dos Santos is a proficient striker with a solid ground game. He is the former Heavyweight Champion and has defended his title belt against former champion Frank Mir. Additionally, dos Santos has notable victories over some of the most prominent names of the Heavyweight division. With wins over Stipe Miocic, Shane Carwin, Frank Mir, Mark Hunt, Cain Velasquez, and Derrick Lewis, Junior dos Santos has already cemented himself as one of the greatest fighters in the heavyweight division.

Where does Junior dos Santos go from three back to back stoppage losses?

UFC Fight Night
UFC Fight Night

Despite a solid performance against Jarzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 252, dos Santos fell prey to a brutal right hand from advancing Rozenstruik which dropped him on the canvas. It was a matter of few seconds before a flurry of punches from Rozenstruik made the referee step in and stop the fight. It was dos Santos' third consecutive loss after impressive TKO win over Derrick Lewis in March of 2019.

Junior dos Santos hasn't looked out of touch. He moves well and lands efficiently enough to trouble his opponents. It can be argued that he has faced knockout artists in his last few fights, however, it's hard to ignore how other fighters have been able to dominate former Champion dos Santos. Junior dos Santos is 36 and still has a great career ahead of him. However, consecutive TKO losses have raised questions about his conditioning of the chin and how much damage he can take at the dangerous heavyweight division.

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Junior dos Santos is a veteran of the sport. He has faced some of the most prominents fighters of the heavyweight division, and will likely go down as one of the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. However, there's an argument to be made that he should go down to the light-heavyweight division.

Junior dos Santos should move down to light-heavyweight division

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UFC 252: Dos Santos v Rozenstruik
UFC 252: Dos Santos v Rozenstruik

There's a reason to believe that Junior dos Santos will fare better at the light-heavyweight division. If Santos can make weight, he could be a threat at the light-heavyweight division. With Jon Jones moving to heavyweight division, it's a perfect time for Junior dos Santos for several reasons. Dominick Reyes will take on Jan Blachowicz for the UFC Light Heavyweight title at UFC 253. With #4 ranked Corey Anderson out of the picture, there's a chance for quick walk to the Championship belt. Junior dos Santos could potentially face any fighter in the top-5, and a win there could plummet him closer to the title picture. However, it's easier said than done, but Junior dos Santos is a former Champion who has time and again proven his ability inside the octagon.

Another interesting thing to note is the power in both the division. Fighters at the heavyweight division are huge and carry brutal power in their hands.Both Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik have knocked almost all their opponents inside the octagon. On the other side, the light-heavyweight division is not dominated by lethal strikers. However, the light heavyweigt division will be an equally tougher challenge for Junior dos Santos.

There are a lot of incredible match-ups in the form of Junior dos Santos vs Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos, and Dominick Reyes. The idea of Junior dos Santos dropping down to light heavyweight division is exciting. Only time will tell what dos Santos will do next, however, it's safe to assume that he isn't done yet and will look to make a comeback with a win in his next fight.

Published 26 Aug 2020, 14:25 IST
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