With only one loss on his record to Cain Velasquez at UFC 155, Dos Santos record was perfect. He previously defeated Cain Velasquez at UFC on Fox 1 to capture the heavyweight belt in 2011. He defended it once against Frank Mir at UFC 146, then lost it back to Velasquez. A convincing victory against Mark Hunt would propel Dos Santos right back into title contention.
Mark Hunt is a long time MMA veteran who has fought some of the greatest names in the sport, including Fedor Emelianenko, Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Cro Cop, Josh Barnett, and Alistair Overeem. He was on a tear, winning 4 of his last 5 UFC bouts. He is known for his knockout power, finishing Check Kongo, Stephan Struve, and Chris Tuchscherer all by KO. A win over Dos Santos would make Mark Hunt a true contender for the championship belt.
Round 1: They both come out, touch gloves, and face off in the center. Hunt immediately lands a hard leg kick and Dos Santos circles away. Dos Santos is circling on the outside, trying to find his rhythm. Hunt seems to be the aggressor, throwing leg kicks that land. Out of nowhere, Dos Santos drops a bomb of a right hand that drops Hunt to the canvas. Hunt pops right back up while Dos Santos swarms. Hunt shakes it off and they face off once again in the center. Hunt throws some haymakers of his own that barely miss the mark.
Both fighters circle each other, looking for openings to land a big shot. The action stales a little as they both appear to be head hunting. Dos Santos land another strong shot, but Hunt keeps coming forward. Dos Santos is circling backward while Hunt continues coming after him. Dos Santos seems to have the speed advantage, landing constant jabs to Mark Hunt’s body. Finally, the round comes to an end.
Round 2: They face off once again, Hunt the aggressor. Dos Santos continues loading up on the right hand, looking for opportunities to land. Hunt continues throwing leg kicks that land. They are both attempting to throw haymakers that are just missing the mark. They continue to trade in the center, Hunt throwing more leg kicks, and Dos Santos jabbing to the body and head. Dos Santos starts to find his rhythm, landing 5 to 6 unanswered jabs. Hunt moves forward as Dos Santos tees off on him with stiff and solid jabs.
Dos Santos gets bold and does a spinning back kick that actually lands to Hunt’s midsection. Hunt continues to come forward looking for that big shot. Dos Santos keeps Hunt at bay by circling away and using his quick jab. Hunt catches Dos Santos against the cage and they trade a flurry of hard thrown punches, none which do any major damage. Dos Santos breaks away and goes back to the center. Dos Santos shoots for a takedown and scores right in the center of the ring. He goes into the side control and starts to work his face with his elbow. Dos Santos doesn’t really do any significant damage, controlling Hunt for the remainder of the round. Hunt pops up at the last second and the round ends.
Round 3: They come out to center, touch gloves again, and face off. Hunt once again goes on the hunt, throwing haymakers that are barely missing. Dos Santos continues to circle back, using his jab to keep Hunt at bay. He jabs at both Hunt’s body and head effectively. Both men look weary in the 3rd round, but they continue to engage each other. It’s more of the same throughout the first two minutes with Hunt stalking forward trying to land bombs, while Dos Santos picks him apart from the outside.
Dos Santos throws a kick to the side of Hunt’s body that lands and moves Hunt back. He recovers and moves forward once again, relentless in pushing the action. Dos Santos keeps landing most of the significant shots, jabs to the face and jabs to the body. Now with half the round gone, the action continues the same. Hunt attacking, but not with a sense of urgency. Dos Santos looks very confident, pretty much picking Hunt apart throughout the whole round. Hunt swings wildly two times, just missing the mark, but not by much. Dos Santos uses two jabs to land a solid right which seems to irritate Hunt’s face.
He continues moving forward, determined to bring the fight to Dos Santos. With under 2 minutes, Hunt is still swinging for the fences, hoping to land that one shot that will take Dos Santos out. Dos Santos jabs a couple more times, then lands a solid punch that staggers Hunt. Dos Santos senses Hunt is in trouble and moves in for the finish, throwing haymakers that barely miss. Hunt answers back by throwing one of his own, but he is still hurt from that Dos Santos left.
They face off in the center of the ring with 1 minute left in the fight. Hunt’s hands are down at his sides as he is extremely tired, but he still manages to throw jabs at Junior. Dos Santos comes forward and throws a spinning back kick that grazes the top of Hunt’s head. Hunt drops to the canvas and Dos Santos swarms him, landing 2 more punches before the referee comes in to stop the fight. Junior Dos Santos is the winner, defeating Mark Hunt by KO in the third round.