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What's next for Junior dos Santos

UFC 252: Dos Santos v Rozenstruik
UFC 252: Dos Santos v Rozenstruik
ANALYST
Modified 18 Aug 2020, 00:36 IST
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Junior dos Santos suffered a brutal KO loss over knockout artist Jairzinho Rozenstruk, who announced his return to the octagon after suffering a brutal KO himself against Francis Ngannou at UFC 249. Junior dos Santos was coming off a TKO loss over Curtis Blaydes, before losing to Francis Ngannou in the first round back in June of 2019.

Despite some incredible performances, dos Santos has not looked the striker we have come to know him as. While he put up an impressive performance in the first round, dos Santos failed to land any significant damage in the second round. It was also interesting to see dos Santos not make much use of his grappling skills. Alistair Overeem had earlier dominated Rozenstruik on the ground and considering it was a three-round fight, it would have been a smart move to take the fight to the ground. Regardless, Rozenstruik's power proved too much to dos Santos, who picked up yet another TKO loss in his MMA career.

What's next for Junior dos Santos?

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

Junior dos Santos is coming off three back to back losses inside the octagon. Prior to the fight, he expressed his desire to face Francis Ngannou in a rematch, and get his hands at the title opportunity next. However, with the loss, the road to the Championship belt has only gotten tougher.

While the updated rankings will certainly shuffle the heavyweight division, Junior dos Santos is currently ranked #5 in the division. With Derrick Lewis and Curtis Blaydes verbally in agreement for a future fight, it only leaves Alistair Overeem as the next top opponent for the former Champion.

Alistair Overeem is coming off an incredibe victory over Walt Harris, and has looked aboslutely brilliant in his last few fights. He also fared well against Jairzinho Rozenstruik in a five round fight, before gettng knocked out in the closing moments of the fight. It is an interesting match-up between two UFC veterans, who will go down in history as two of the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. Overeem is currently ranked #7 in the heavyweight rankings, and will likely move ahead of Junior dos Santos when the new rankings come out.

However, there are other inetersting options for dos Santos, in case the fight against Alistair Overeem cannot capitalise due to any reason. Alexander Volkov, Aleksei Oleinik are also great option for Junior dos Santos, who has recently only competed against dangerous strikers. The road for dos Santos is tough, however, the former Champion has shown traces of his old self in recent performances.

Published 18 Aug 2020, 00:36 IST
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