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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos has run roughshod through the heavyweight ranks, winning all eight of his fights inside of the Octagon. That dominant run has been highly impressive, but his lack of legitimate adversity inside of the cage has UFC President Dana White wondering how he'll respond when he runs up against it this May against Alistair Overeem.
"For me, the question is how is Dos Santos going to deal with the kicks and the knees and the elbows?" White said recently (comments transcribed by MMAWeekly.com). "Since he's been in the UFC, I've never seen him have to deal with that. It's stuff that he's going to have to deal with from Alistair Overeem."
It's not that White doesn't believe in his Heavyweight Champ. It's just that he sees some similarities between dos Santos and his former client and longtime friend Chuck Liddell, and so he's not sure what he'll see from dos Santos against a fighter like Overeem.
"He's fought a pretty one-dimensional fight," White said. "He's fought very Chuck Liddell like in that he's great at defending the takedown, he drops bombs, he throws heavy punches, but he's never dealt with anybody who's going to throw kicks and knees and work in the clinch the way that Alistair Overeem does."
"I'm real curious to see how Junior Dos Santos is planning on dealing with that."
Penick's Analysis: It's a good point that White raises here. Dos Santos has been so fantastic in his run in the UFC, and he hasn't really faced much push back from any of his opponents. Now, is that because of him overwhelming those opponents and just being that good? Maybe. Overeem's likely to test that, and show him some things he hasn't yet had to deal with. None of this is to suggest that dos Santos can't handle it, but it does leave some questions into their May showdown, and it will be interesting to see how the fight actually does play out.
[Junior dos Santos art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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