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Junior dos Santos: “Having the belt means everything to me.”

Junior dos Santos: “Having the belt means everything to me.”

There was little doubt UFC heavyweight Cain Velasquez had a fair shot at winning the title from then-champion Junior dos Santos when the two faced off last December even though the former divisional king had been knocked out by “Cigano” in their original meeting. However, few predicted the drumming Velasquez ultimately delivered to Dos Santos, out-striking the powerful Brazilian in multiple exchanges and putting him on the mat with ease.

Five months later, the 15-2 Dos Santos is ready to get back in the ring and stake his claim as a contender by beating Mark Hunt on Saturday night at UFC 160.

“I really want my belt back, and I am doing everything I can to make that happen. Having the belt means everything to me. My life now is all about becoming champion again,” said the 28-year old in an interview with the UFC’s website. “I am eager to get back in the cage, to get back to fighting. I was not myself last fight. I want to be back in that Octagon and back to winning.”

Though Dos Santos knows a title-shot should be his if he exits the Octagon with a victory, and his adversary only owns a 9-7 mark in MMA, he’s not making the mistake of looking too far down the road. After all, Hunt is an accomplished kickboxer who has knocked more than his share of high-level opponents.

“I think his wins have been the result of his skill,” said Dos Santos. “He really has a lot of power and he knows how to use it. I don’t see his success as a result of him being underestimated, but as the result of a lot of talent he has and knows how to use.”

Fans can catch Dos Santos-Hunt throw down on PPV in the evening’s co-headlining clash. Dos Santos had won all nine of his fights in the UFC leading up to last year’s stumble including success against Fabricio Werdum, Stefan Struve, Frank Mir, Shane Carwin, and Roy Nelson. Comparably, Hunt is on a four-fight run in the organization and was last seen sending Struve into orbit a few months back.

  • MCM says:

    I think JDS is the best HW out there. I think he beats Cain 6 out of 10 times and everyone else 7-9 out of 10 times. And I agree he wasn’t himself last fight. I even told my buddy during the fight that it looked like JDS had pneumonia or something. But with all that said, I’m tired of the these 1 fight title shots. Especially when Dana says shit like JDS will get a shot but he’s not sure if Hunt (who’s finished 4 of his last 4) would.

    I think every challenger or recently defeated champion should have to win at least two in a row before getting another shot at the belt. If JDS beats Hunt, let him fight the winner of Overeem/Browne. If Cain gets by Bigfoot, he can either fight Roy (4 fight streak presuming he gets by Stipe) or Werdum (top 5er on a two fight streak with a questionable loss to Ubereem). If Bigfoot wins, he can fight Cormier while JDS (or Nelson or Werdum) gets another win under his belt. This keeps the top of the division from looking like a series of rematches.

    example Cain Velasquez: JDS-Bigoot-JDS-Bigfoot and now possibly JDS again

  • THEGUNNER says:

    Jds has to get by hunt first then id like to see him fight overeem.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I agree MCM and that’s how it use to be, if you lost you went down to the bottom, if you lost your title challenge/title you had to get a min of 2 fights before you were considered. It seems to me the downward slide started when they gave Penn the instant rematch to Frankie.

  • MCM says:

    Faber was famous for it in WEC, but he used to be the exception not the rule. I think you’re right about it starting with Penn, AO. Even GSP had to fight twice before getting a second shot at Serra. FW, LW, LHW, and HW have all had these 1 fight title shots and MW would have if Anderson had excepted the fight with Chael sooner. Now that I think about it, it might have started with the Machida/Shogun 1.

    (side note, If Faber doesn’t fight for the title in his next bout, it will be his longest fight streak without a title shot since 2004.)

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Frankie/Penn rematch was before Machida/Shogan rematch wasn’t it?

  • MCM says:

    Nope. Frankie/Penn was 118, Machida/Shogun was 104.

    I had to look it up though.


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