Junior Dos Santos’s boxing coach, Luiz Carlos Dorea, believes that “Cigano” has the tools to beat current UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and he believes the path to that victory lays in the champ’s ability or rather inability, to take a punch.
Of course and one would imagine, that all of that is predicated on Jr.’s flash knock-out of the champ, from back in November or 2011. In that fight, JDS only needed a paltry 64 seconds to dispose of Velasquez and seize his belt. However, 13 months later Velasquez re-took the belt in a re-match with Dos Santos and in doing so, Cain beat JDS soundly for 5 rounds.
Up next is their trilogy bout on October 19th (UFC 166) and in analyzing what he hopes to be the expected outcome, Dorea believes that his fighter can once again not only beat Velasquez, but knock him out.
In speaking with “MMAFighting.com”, Dorea stated:
"I have no doubt that we will get closer to the knockout as soon as Cigano lands one or two punches. Cain’s ability to take a punch is his weakness, and that’s what we will explore in this fight. Cain is a complete fighter, deserves our respect, but Cigano is stronger and more durable. The best way to win this fight is work on the punches, and we know the title is coming back to Brazil."
However and in considering his remarks, one must keep in mind that aside from Jr.’s stoppage of Cain and few brief moments by Cheick Kongo in his fight with Velasquez, nobody has even come close to putting the champ in harm’s way.
On that point, Dorea is well-right in saying that Velasquez is a complete fighter and deserving of Cigano’s respect, and it would certainly be in keeping with the facts of Dos Santos’s last encounter with the heavyweight champion.
However and to the question of their last outing, Dorea believes that JDS was not focused on the last bout and was distracted by the divorce that he (Cigano) was going through, at the time. On this issue and with the divorce now behind him, Dorea says that Dos Santos will be "100 percent focused...(and that) what happened outside the cage is in the past, we’re sure he will get the win this time; we are confident.”
Beyond the resolved marital issues, Dorea knows he has a great athlete on his hands and seems to view JDS’s last two fights with Cain as bouts that proved how powerful his fighter not only is, but also that he’s tough.
As Dorea put it:
“Cigano is a great athlete. In the first fight, Cigano knocked him out. In the second fight, he showed he can resist punishment for five rounds. Cigano is a well-rounded fighter. He showed he has knockout power and a great chin. We will fight against a great champion, but Cigano has learned a lot from that loss."
On a related issue, where one can certainly understand how Jr.’s personal issues might have factored into his loss to Cain, we must also hope that one of the lessons that Dos Santos and his camp learned from the loss, was that of not over-training. JDS made particular note of this fact post his loss to Cain and blamed over-training as the biggest contributor to his lack-luster performance.
Hopefully, he does not repeat the same error for this bout.