UFC Wichita: Junior Dos Santos Admits He’s Nervous Before Fights, But It’s A Good Thing

Former UFC heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos returns at UFC Wichita this weekend, and admits that prior to fights, he gets nervous. But that’s a good thing.

Wichita, Kansas — Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos returns to action this Saturday at UFC Wichita. Once again in the main event, this time it’s the always formidable Derrick Lewis staring back at him. Dos Santos is currently on a three fight win streak, and three in a row might be enough to earn him another shot at UFC gold. Depending on what happens with Daniel Cormier, Brock Lesnar, and the mess atop the division.

For Dos Santos, though, he’s focused on Lewis, and Fight Week. Speaking to reporters including Cageside Press on Thursday, ‘Cigano’ said of Fight Week that “it’s exciting. I’m looking forward to the fight. I have to keep making things happen to get there. My body feels good.”

Unlike many fighters, the former heavyweight champ is just fine in front of the cameras. “To have all this attention from the media, from the fans, that’s important to me,” he said. Later, he explained that “this is my contact with the fans. Everywhere in the world. That’s why it’s very important to me. I want to talk to them.”

“You guys [the media] are asking me questions probably that they want to know. So I’m happy to answer all those questions.”

Dos Santos also admitted to some nerves heading into fights. It’s not a common confession among fighters, though one of the best of all time, Georges St. Pierre, has made similar comments. “Right now I’m not nervous,” Dos Santos said Thursday. “The day of the fight, I’ll get a little bit nervous. I think that’s really good. Because it makes me on. I stay the way I need to stay.”

“If I get too relaxed, I don’t think that’s good.”

As for the heavy-hitting Derrick Lewis, Dos Santos isn’t focusing on his power. “Every preparation for a fight is hard. This fight is no different,” he said. “I don’t really keep my attention on my opponent. I keep my attention on myself. On how I have to impose myself during the fight. Of course, I study a lot [of] my opponent. We have to have a strategy for the fight. But I work very hard all the time to get myself prepared for everything.”

“If I have to fight five rounds, I’m ready to fight five rounds. If I have to knock people out, I’m ready to knock people out, if I have to submit someone, I will be ready to do that too,” he continued. “I make sure that I am prepared for the fight, I don’t really keep my attention on my opponent.”

Looking for a way back to the title, Dos Santos pointed out that “the most important thing is to win. Of course I’m always looking for that knockout,” he added. On Saturday, however, what he needs to do is “impose myself, and win the fight. It doesn’t matter if it’s by points, by submission, by knockout. Anything can happen during a fight. If I can see the opportunity, the only thing I want is to be ready to take it.”

Junior Dos Santos faces Derrick Lewis in the main event of UFC Wichita (UFC Fight Night 146) on Saturday, March 9.