Junior Dos Santos Is Confident That He’ll Fight For UFC Title Again
Former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos got back into the winning column after scoring a unanimous decision win over UFC newcomer Blagoy Ivanov at UFC Fight Night 133 last month.
After a knockout loss to then-champion, Stipe Miocic at UFC 211 back in May 2017 Santos remain inactive the rest of year due to a positive drug test ahead of a scheduled showdown against Francis Ngannou in September. But Dos Santos was ultimately cleared by USADA, after being proved his innocence that failed drug test was solely due to tainted supplements.
With the current situation of heavyweight division, as Daniel Cormier sitting on the top of a throne after dethroning Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 and waiting for his super fight against Brock Lesnar by early next year.
Cormier already declared that he’d fight twice before he hangs his gloves for good by his 40th birthday. Well if Cormier gets past Lesnar, wins the title, then apparently he’ll vacate the belt and leave the belt up for grabs for the rest of the heavyweight division’s fighters. Junior dos Santos has a plan to return to Octagon soon.
”The division is in a good moment right now, there are several good options,” dos Santos told MMA Fighting. “I would love a rematch with Stipe Miocic, but I don’t think they will do it. I don’t know why this fight wouldn’t make sense because the second one ended so quickly. He was happy to connect a punch, but that doesn’t prove superiority. We’re heavyweights. The same way he lost to (Daniel) Cormier, he defeated me.”
It’s unclear whether or not the UFC would book a trilogy bout between “Cigano” and Miocic next, especially after Cormier mentioned he would grant Miocic a rematch if Brock Lesnar isn’t available in the beginning of 2019. If that option isn’t on the table, the Brazilian has a few ideas for possible opponents.
”Not that I’m choosing, I’ve said thousands of times that I don’t choose opponents,” dos Santos said. “For an example, we have (Tai) Tuivasa, who beat (Andrei) Arlovski. There are several options at heavyweight. Even (Cain) Velasquez. I don’t know what’s his status. People talk and talk about him, but he’s been out for years and no one understands it. The UFC has several options to book my next fight.”
Santos who believes he’s only one fight away to get a crack at the title, but he’s not worried at the moment who he fights next as he’s rebuilding his star power again.
”I’m not worried about trying to guarantee a fight for the belt because that’s automatic, it will happen,” dos Santos said. “I’ve always done my best inside the Octagon, fought the best there is, and win or lose I’ve done my best in my fights. If I’m not the champion today, it’s because of mistakes I’ve made. My opponents have merit, too, of course, but the experience I’ve grained was great. The price I had to pay for that experience was high sometimes, I stayed out for a while, but I’m rebuilding.
”That’s what I’m here for. I’m motivated. I’m 34, but I’m feeling stronger, in a special moment in my career, more mature and motivated. It’s inevitable that I will fight for the belt again. It will come eventually, there’s no escape.”
Let’s say if Lesnar comes out victorious, it’s no telling if he’ll be the active champion or leave a door open for others to come to take the lead. Currently, Curtis Blaydes is set to face Francis Ngannou in a rematch, so Dos Santos can wait for these fights to be over or he can look out other options, maybe Cain Velasquez.