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Junior dos Santos considers Cain Velasquez a bigger challenge than Alistair Overeem

With it looking more and more like UFC heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos will face Cain Velasquez in December as opposed to Alistair Overeem some fans have been left groaning about the rematch coming so soon after the two originally tussled. In the November 2011 bout, Dos Santos laid claim to divisional gold by laying Velasquez out in less than a minute. Since then each has only fought a single time.

Perhaps providing some relief to those who have been critical of the clash, Dos Santos was recently asked who he considered the biggest challenge for him at heavyweight and, rather than point to the decorated Dutch striker, “Cigano” went with the very man he’s already beaten in highlight reel fashion.

“He’s different. He’s fast, he’s very good in wrestling, and he never gets tired. His cardio is amazing for a heavyweight. So I consider him the toughest guy in this division for me,” said the 27-year old champion on Ultimate Insider.

As far as “The Demolition Man”, Dos Santos didn’t deny Overeem’s credentials or his own interest in testing himself against the heavy-handed kickboxer, stating, “I know this guy is tough but I don’t think he’s the biggest challenge inside the UFC.”

“If he thinks he’s better than me, when I fight him and he feels the power of my hands he’s gonna change his mind,” Dos Santos continued. “We’re gonna have a chance to fight each other and I think that’s gonna be good, especially for me. I wanna beat this guy one day.”

Dos Santos and Velasquez are expected to meet on December 29 at the UFC’s annual New Year’s Eve Weekend event.

Watch the full one-on-one with Dos Santos below:


  • Richard Stabone says:

    Really looking forward to the rematch, and seeing a healthy Cain give a much better showing.

    I’m really surprised how far the perception of these two guys shifted after their first fight. Cain went from being a favorite going into the intial encounter, to now seemingly viewed as a heavy underdog against JDS for the rematch. Maybe I’m reading too much into that, and it’s more that people simply feel he should have to win more than one fight to earn a title shot. Either way, it shouldn’t be a surprise if Cain gets the belt back in December.

    My prediction is Cain winning by TKO in the 2nd or 3rd round, but as long as we get to see the winner face Overeem, it’s a win-win.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    That seems to be the way of it here lately, anytime someone gets a title in convincing fashion people jump on them as the most dominant champion from then on. It happened with Lesnar, Machida, Shogun.

  • Lord Faust says:

    Not excited for the rematch. I know the HW division is always thin, but as far as 2012 is concerned the last thing I want is to close the year out with another fucking rematch.

    At least there was some rivalry with JDS and Reem… This is already putting me to sleep; “bla bla bla… my toughest test…. he’s a dangerous guy.” Give me a break.

    Yes, I will watch. If I get my way, Cain gets bodied in the first round again and we can move along to some different people in the title picture.

    For all the shit other people have received for their “easy” title shots, I’m a little confused as to why it’s OK for Cain to beat Bigfoot — who came to the UFC off a loss in his last Strikeforce battle — and then get the next title shot. I know they need main events and Reem is out until 2013 but seriously, this is the best we can do? JDS has fought once since winning the title and 13 months later he’s rematching the guy he took it from. One word: weak.

  • MCM says:

    Damn right Faust.
    It’s not that I have anything against Cain (even though I personally think he’s overrated by most), but a win over a guy coming off TWO loses shouldn’t qualify you for a title shot. If anyone should get a rematch at this point, it should be Werdum. At least he’s on a legit win streak.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Reem being out of the mix is definitely a downer. I totally get that. Hell, the two biggest fights of 2012 are fights that never came to fruition — GSP vs. Diaz and JDS vs. Overeem.

    But JDS has to defend the belt, and JDS vs. Cain is still a really awesome Plan B as far as I’m concerned. I won’t rehash all my feelings about the first fight, other than to simply say I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it was the worst physical condition Cain will ever be in when stepping inside the Octagon to take a fight. Doesn’t necessarily mean the outcome would have been any different, but I’ve been anxious to see these guys fight with each at their full capacity, and the circumstances seem to be lining up perfect for thatt to happen. Should be a great fight.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    I guess Chael-Silva II was the biggest fight of 2012, but two next biggest fights after that never happened… maybe we’ll get lucky and see both matchups happen in 2013.

  • Lord Faust says:

    You know what… I can almost live with this, if Cormier gets a title shot after beating Mir. (Good money on DC somehow getting injured even if he wins — so Reem -vs- the winner of JDS / Cain could still happen before DC gets a shot.)

    However, if Cain wins then DC’s title aspirations could be in limbo; he’s said he won’t fight Cain and from what I understand of his past medical issues, cutting down to LHW is probably not an option.

    … *sigh* HEAVYWEIGHT MMA, folks…


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