Junior Dos Santos is looking to work his way back to another title shot, and the next step comes at UFC Raleigh.
Raleigh, NC — “It’s in the past.” That’s how Junior Dos Santos looks at the extremely dangerous leg infection that saw him pulled from a fight with Alexander Volkov late last year.
Speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press on Wednesday, ‘Cigano’ addressed a host of topics, from his health, to a title shot, to fighting five rounds. On that front, it’s something Dos Santos prefers. “It’s good to be fighting five rounds. I think it’s different. I think it separates who really wants this thing from the other guys.”
From here on out, the plan is to “Keep moving forward. That’s what I’m doing. I believe in me. If you guys could see the truth I can see in my head, you guys would be amazed. That’s what I’m trying to show you guys.”
“I really believe I deserve to be at the top of the division as a champion,” he added. “And I’ll get there. I got there once, I’ll get there again.”
The UFC, it was suggested, believes in JDS as well. After all, why else would they pair him up with a rising heavyweight like Curtis Blaydes? “Of course. I was coming from two, three great victories, getting close to fighting for the title again. Then I got someone who’s coming from a good moment too, with a lot of power.”
That someone, of course, would be Francis Ngannou. Who, Dos Santos noted, “has a lot of power, he got the victory that night.” That doesn’t, however, mean Ngannou is the superior fighter, according to the former champ. “It doesn’t mean he’s better than me. He was better than me that night, but I hope to have that rematch and prove that I am better than him. But I really appreciate everything the UFC is doing for me, and putting so much confidence in me. They really trust in me, to do my work, to do what I do best. Which is fighting. So I really appreciate that, and I’ll keep doing my best.”
Dos Santos doesn’t have a preference on who wins that, as far as which man he’d like to face. “Not really. I don’t really care about my opponents. As soon as they offer me an opponent, my answer is yes, all the time.” But while he believes both men to be “phenomenal fighters,” the Brazilian slugger doesn’t believe they should be paired up a third time just yet.
“I think they should fight again [against other opponents], so then they could have this third fight,” Dos Santos opined. “Because it doesn’t really make sense. But it’s on the UFC. Whatever they say, we have to follow, but I don’t think it’s right. I think they should do one more fight [each], then fight again. If they keep the position that they are in right now [after another fight], then they would fight again.”
Junior Dos Santos faces Curtis Blaydes in the main event of UFC Raleigh, this Saturday, January 25, 2020 at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. The card airs live on ESPN+ (TSN in Canada).