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Six months have passed since Junior dos Santos ascended to the top of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s heavyweight division and emerged as the sport’s resident alpha male. Now comes the first challenge to his throne.

Dos Santos tipped the scales at 239 pounds for his five-round title defense against Frank Mir (261) in the UFC 146 headliner on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The eight other competitors slated for duty on the all-heavyweight main card, including co-headliners Cain Velasquez (240) and Antonio Silva (264), also met their contracted weight requirements without incident at Friday’s official weigh-in.

The 27-year-old dos Santos will enter the cage on a nine-fight winning streak. He last appeared at UFC on Fox 1 in November, when he smashed through Velasquez in 64 seconds to win the heavyweight championship. A protégé of Brazilian icon Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, dos Santos has secured 10 of his 14 professional victories by knockout or technical knockout. Wins over 2006 Pride Fighting Championships open weight grand prix winner Mirko Filipovic, two-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist Fabricio Werdum and the world-ranked Shane Carwin anchor his stellar resume. Dos Santos has compiled an 8-0 mark since arriving in the UFC in 2008.

Mir has rattled off three consecutive victories, and his 15 UFC wins rank first all-time among heavyweights. The 33-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt last fought at UFC 140 in December, when he snapped Nogueira’s arm with a vicious first-round kimura at the Air Canade Centre in Toronto. One of the sport’s most feared grapplers, Mir has delivered more than half (nine) of his 16 professional victories by submission.

Sherdog Fantasy MMA: UFC 146 "Dos Santos vs. Mir" Free Fan Pick’Em
UFC 146 “Dos Santos vs. Mir” -- which airs live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT -- will also feature heavyweight duels matching “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 winner Roy Nelson (254) with Dave Herman (233), Team Oyama’s Shane del Rosario (246) with fellow unbeaten Stipe Miocic (245) and the 6-foot-11 Stefan Struve (255) with Lavar Johnson (248).

Two hours prior, the FX network will carry four undercard bouts: Diego Brandao (145) vs. Darren Elkins (145), Edson Barboza (155) vs. Jamie Varner (156), Jason “Mayhem” Miller (185) vs. C.B. Dollaway (186) and Dan Hardy (170) vs. Duane Ludwig (171). The three remaining preliminary matches will stream to the UFC’s Facebook page, as Jacob Volkmann (155) collides with the undefeated Paul Sass (156), Kyle Kingsbury (205) squares off with promotional newcomer Glover Teixeira (204) and former WEC featherweight champion Mike Thomas Brown (145) tangles with Daniel Pineda (146).

UFC 146 “Dos Santos vs. Mir”
Saturday, May 26
MGM Grand Garden Arena
Las Vegas

UFC Heavyweight Championship
Junior dos Santos (239) vs. Frank Mir (261)

Cain Velasquez (240) vs. Antonio Silva (264)
Roy Nelson (254) vs. Dave Herman (233)
Shane del Rosario (246) vs. Stipe Miocic (245)
Stefan Struve (255) vs. Lavar Johnson (248)
Diego Brandao (145) vs. Darren Elkins (145)
Edson Barboza (155) vs. Jamie Varner (156)
Jason “Mayhem” Miller (185) vs. C.B. Dollaway (186)
Dan Hardy (170) vs. Duane Ludwig (171)
Jacob Volkmann (155) vs. Paul Sass (156)
Kyle Kingsbury (205) vs. Glover Teixeira (204)
Mike Thomas Brown (145) vs. Daniel Pineda (146)

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