Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Former UFC Champion Junior dos Santos Debuts On AEW Rampage (Video)

Former UFC heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos made his pro wrestling debut tonight on Friday’s edition of AEW Rampage from Miami, FL. The event aired live on TNT at 10 PM Eastern.

dos Santos teamed up with the Men of the Year tag team to face Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, and Sammy Guevara of the Inner Circle.

Junior Dos Santos AEW Debut

dos Santos has been appearing on AEW TV as part of ATT President Dan Lambert’s faction of MMA fighters. Jorge Masvidal, Paige VanZant, Andrei Arlovski, and other MMA legends have also appeared with Lambert.

Junior dos Santos Hypes AEW Debut

Junior dos Santos shared some thoughts ahead of tonight’s big debut. When asked if he’s considering a future in pro wrestling, he didn’t mince words.

“Of course,” dos Santos told ESPN. “I’ve been enjoying everything I’m doing and to get in the ring to be fighting again, to be performing, to give my best performance for everybody to watch is amazing. I’m very excited about this. I’m a combat sportsman. I’ve been training my whole life. No doubts, I know how to fight and I’m going to go there to fight.

“I’m gonna go there to finish these guys. I know it’s not a joke. You’re going to go there, put on a good show, and give your best. I’m ready for that. I’ve been training some good skills with King Mo and many guys from the gym. Everybody is willing to go in the ring and represent our gym and defend our name. I’m privileged to be in this position and I’m going to do my best.”

dos Santos joins a long line of MMA fighters who have crossed over to the world of pro wrestling. Names like Ronda Rousey, Cain Velasquez, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, and a host of others have had stints in the rasslin’ business at varying degrees.

Masvidal’s Take

One of dos Santos’ opposing team members, Chris Jericho, has already gotten acquainted with American Top Team after Masvidal baptized him with a flying knee last month. Masvidal also appeared at AEW Rampage again tonight and in a very big way.

Although it’s nothing personal between him and Jericho, “Gamebred” finds the violence to be super necessary when they are between battle lines. In fact, the Miami native issued a warning to Jericho, which would serve as a harbinger for what was to come.

“I respect the f— out of Chris Jericho,” Masvidal told Sports Illustrated this week. “He’s done this at the highest level for 30 years. If I see him anywhere else, I’m buying him drinks all night. But I only have one speed. When I see him in the ring, it’s a different story.”

Highlights Of Junior dos Santos’ Pro Wrestling Debut

American Top Team was in attendance to show support for their teammate ahead of dos Santos’ big debut!

JDS tags in!

A Gamesmanship Distraction

10-8 Round According To The Table!

JDS & Men of The Year Victorious, Masvidal & VanZant With The Assist!

A Time For Celebration…And Selfies

Chris Jericho can’t say he wasn’t warned. Let’s take one last look at the final offense of the fight courtesy of Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal.

What do you think? How did Junior dos Santos look in his pro wrestling debut?