Whoa, Junior Dos Santos is still alive. MMA memories can be short, and it’s sometimes easy to stop thinking about a guy who has been out with injuries for almost a year. The UFC canceled his fight against Stipe Miocic in May, when he suffered a hand injury. But in this interview with WHOATV, we are reminded that Junior still exists, and that we’ll eventually see him fighting again. According to the former champ, he is “almost 100%.”
“I’m ready to go, and just waiting for [the] UFC call to know . . . about my next fight and who’s going to be my next opponent because I can’t wait to be back, and I can’t wait to fight again.” he says. “Because in October it’s going to be one year already since my last fight, so it’s been very hard for me.” He hopes that will happen before the end of the year.
Despite Alistair Overeem’s last performance, Junior calls him a “very tough athlete.” But a potential fight against Reem is “not very interesting” now. Unless Joe Silva says so, of course.
“If the UFC tells me to fight against him, I will fight against him,” he says. “But right now, I don’t think it’s a very interesting fight for me.” Overeem turned down a fight against Junior earlier this year. Dana White accused Reem of “literally hiding” from dos Santos.
Overeem’s fall from competitive grace aside, Junior contemplates the state of the heavyweight division, offering thoughts about the upcoming Velasquez-Werdum and Bigfoot-Arlovski fights. He’ll be rooting for Werdum, despite Fabricio’s status as a non-favorite. He’ll also be supporting his friend Bigfoot Silva, who he predicts will knock Arlovski out.
“Everybody is waiting to see if Arlovski is still that guy who we used to watch before,” he said.
Of course, we are wondering the same about dos Santos, a man who looked invincible until he surrendered the heavyweight belt in his second fight against Velasquez. We saw the hallmarks of his former greatness in his fight of the night win against Mark Hunt. But his back-to-back losses against Cain were causes to speculate whether his style has been forever solved by the current heavyweight champion.
Whether or not Junior is a legitimate threat to reclaim the ultimate title in Mixed Martial Arts, it is nice to hear him talking excitedly about his return to competition.