Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar finds himself as the underdog for the first time in his short MMA career. Lesnar finds himself a +130 underdog heading into his June fight against Junior dos Santos, who is a -160 favorite, according to BetUS.com.
The bout between Lesnar and dos Santos will be for a shot at the UFC heavyweight title, against current kingpin Cain Velasquez. But first, they will serve as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter, which goes into production in late January in Las Vegas and premieres on Spike TV Wednesday, March 30. Season 13 features 14 welterweights, with the cast will be announced in late February.
Fighting out of Alexandria, Minn., Lesnar was an All-American wrestler at the University of Minnesota and 2000 NCAA heavyweight champion. Lesnar joined the WWE in 2002 and quickly became one of the popular names in sports entertainment. Lesnar left the WWE after three years and, after a brief career as a defensive end with the Minnesota Vikings, began training in mixed martial arts.
In 2008, Lesnar made his UFC debut, and later that year, in just his fourth professional MMA fight, Lesnar’s meteoric rise culminated in a TKO victory over Randy Couture at UFC 91 to win the heavyweight title. After exacting revenge on Frank Mir at UFC 100 in July 2009, Lesnar suffered a life-threatening intestinal disease that sidelined him for a year. Lesnar returned to the Octagon in July 2010 to defeat Shane Carwin at UFC 116 and regain his title belt. And though he lost his most recent fight to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 last October, he vows to beat dos Santos and regain his crown.
Brazilian heavyweight contender Junior dos Santos honed his skills as a mixed martial arts fighter under the tutelage of UFC superstars Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Anderson Silva. One of the sport’s rising stars and the number one contender in the division, dos Santos made his UFC debut with a stunning knockout of Fabricio Werdum at UFC 90 in October 2008. He has since won his next five bouts over the division’s top fighters including Mirko Cro Cop, Gabriel Gonzaga, and most recently, Roy Nelson, at UFC 117 last August.