Stipe Miocic could jump right into the title shot mix this Saturday at UFC on FOX 13, provided the rising heavyweight takes out Junior dos Santos. While Miocic has certainly impressed since he arrived in the UFC, and has dangerous hands to compliment his wrestling game, getting by JDS will be easier said than done.
After all, not only is dos Santos a former heavyweight champ, the only man who has defeated him since 2007, is reigning champ Cain Velasquez. Yes, Velasquez has defeated dos Santos on two occasions now, but when you consider how ridiculously well rounded and conditioned Velasquez is, no one should be taking shots at JDS for the defeats.
In advance of his bout this Saturday with Miocic, dos Santos recently spoke with MMA Fighting.com, and offered this interesting comment regarding the heavyweight champ.
“I believe that most of the heavyweights, based on my recent fights with Velasquez, think that the best way to fight me is put pressure the whole time, but you have to understand that Velasquez is Velasquez,” dos Santos said. “Velasquez has an incredible cardio for a heavyweight. It’s hard for any other heavyweight to do what he does.”
Yes, this is why many believe Velasquez could hold on to the title for the foreseeable future, provided he can stay healthy over the coming months. The interim champ Fabricio Werdum has demonstrated that he’s an extremely dangerous fighter as well, but if he were to defeat Velasquez, even his biggest supporters would likely admit it was an upset.
In terms of dos Santos, if he is hoping to fight Velasquez for a third time any time soon or challenge for the title in the coming year, he’ll need to get past Miocic. While discussing the rising heavyweight and what approach Miocic might take on Saturday, dos Santos relayed:
“Miocic has a good boxing and he uses that in most of his fights. I believe that he will stand for a bit, but with a plan B of putting some pressure and taking me down with his wrestling. No matter what he does, I will focus on what I am going to do.”
Miocic certainly has showcased some notable striking skills, but his clearest path to victory could be through taking the heavy handed, dos Santos down. It’s an interesting fight on many levels, and certainly has the potential to be a barn burner.
UFC on FOX 13 will be hosted by the U.S. Airway Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The card will also feature Nate Diaz taking on Rafael dos Anjos and Alistair Overeem versus Stefan Struve.