UFC Fight Night 58 Newcomer Breakdown: Antonio dos Santos Jr

Antonio dos SantosPrior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at middleweight Antonio dos Santos Jr. as he takes on former TUF Brazil participant Daniel Sarafian at UFC Fight Night 58. Antonio “Junior Alpha” dos Santos Jr. Hometown: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil Age: 26 Height: 5’10” Weight Class: Middleweight Camp: Champion Team Career Record: 6-1 Key Wins: None Key Losses: None Background The former Jungle Fights Middleweight Champion is another in a long line of Jungle Fights champions to sign with the UFC. Dos Santos has shown to be a finisher with five of his six wins coming via stoppage facing mainly regional level competition.   Strengths

  • Good mobility for a middleweight
  • Has a more stocky frame than most middleweights; some of the biggest legs I’ve seen in MMA
  • Strikes are mainly of the short distance, but pack significant power
  • Aggressive finisher who will go for it when he senses a finish is near
  • Heavy, effective leg kicks, but mainly strikes with hands
  • Good use of trips to set up takedowns
  • Very good ground and pound


  • Footwork is slow
  • Lacking athleticism of most fighters in the UFC’s middleweight division
  • Forced to strike at close range due to range disparity compared to others in division
  • Real questions about his conditioning

  00GradeDosSantos   Matchup with Daniel Sarafian Daniel Sarafian is making the move back up to middleweight to take on Antonio dos Santos Jr. Sarafian got submitted early on by Kuchi Kunimoto for what was the worst loss of his career. At middleweight, Sarafian fights with more conviction and is able to compete even though he’s generally one of the smaller fighters in the division. In this matchup, he’s facing “Junior Alpha” who, in terms of range, is also one the smaller fighters in the division. Both fighters can land with power, however, Sarafian has a significant speed advantage and I think he’ll be able to use that to outland dos Santos Jr. to earn the victory. Sarafian returning to middleweight should allow him to show to be the fighter that gave CB Dollaway all sorts of trouble. Due to the career trajectory of Sarafian thus far, he’s a difficult fighter to rely on and more importantly trust with your money.   UFC Ceiling Junior Alpha is a rather fun fighter to watch. He’s got an unusual build that makes him appear slow and prodding, but he strikes with power and if he can get inside, he can compete with most fighters in the middleweight division in spurts. His poor footwork and lack of speed are real issues which will cause him to have difficulties in extended exchanges. Most fighters with his type of build also have conditioning concerns and slow down significantly as the fight drags on. In order to maximize his potential, Junior Alpha would be wise to lose some of his muscle mass and drop to welterweight where his lack of range won’t be as much of an issue. If he stays at middleweight, he has the ability to earn a couple knockouts, but will not be able to mount much against the quicker and rangier fighters in the division.   Fight Film Check out Antonio Dos Santos Jr. in some of his recent fights: Antonio Dos Santos Jr. vs. Douglas Bertazini Antonio Dos Santos Jr. vs. Celivado Pereira da Silva Antonio Dos Santos Jr. vs. Yuri Andrei  

Written by Jay Primetown

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