The average fight fan at first glance might not consider dos Santos one of the greatest fighters to hail from Brazil, but upon further review, he becomes an obvious choice. The heavyweight burst onto the Ultimate Fighting Championship scene in 2008 and quickly began picking off elite-level contenders. By the time he finally received his shot at the title, dos Santos had already beaten Fabricio Werdum, Stefan Struve, Mirko Filipovic, Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin. None of those fights were competitive.
“Cigano” challenged the heavily favored Cain Velasquez in the UFC’s debut on Fox in November 2011. In just 64 seconds, he obliterated Velasquez with an overhand right to complete his ascent in stunning fashion.
Dos Santos successfully defended the belt with a technical knockout of Frank Mir six months later, only to lose it in his UFC 155 rematch with Velasquez. The 32-year-old has gone 2-2 since, with victories over Stipe Miocic and Mark Hunt offset by another loss to Velasquez at UFC 166 and a knockout defeat to Alistair Overeem at UFC on Fox 17.
Number 9 » Helio Gracie