Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos has been out of the news for quite a while following his second brutal loss to Cain Velasquez at last October’s UFC 166.
He’s been rumored to be finally facing off with Alistair Overeem, but “The Demolition Man” cited injured ribs as a reason to turn down a huge five round main event in Brazil with “Cigano.” So while he awaits his next opponent, dos Santos took the time to offer up his thoughts on current UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
Speaking to MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz, dos Santos praised Weidman for beating Anderson Silva, but called his latest win over “The Spider” at UFC 168 a “mistake”:
JDS on Weidman: He proved he's good and beat the best of all times. (But) the last fight was an accident.— Guilherme Cruz (@guicruzzz) February 14, 2014
That’s a sentiment that a lot of people seem to be echoing these days, and with Silva already back to training, a third fight with Weidman could eventually become a reality.
There are a lot of hurdles that have to be bypassed first, however, as Silva is still months away from stepping back in to the Octagon. Weidman also has a date with surging No. 1 contender Vitor Belfort at this May’s UFC 173, so “The Phenom” could conceivably own the belt when Silva does return.
That shouldn’t matter much to the UFC, though, as it was thought that Lyoto Machida would get a title shot with his win over Gegard Mousasi at last Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 36. Those plans were put on hold, so it’s hard not to speculate that the UFC is waiting to see how this unique situation plays out before booking any 185-pound title bouts past this May.
And that’s probably a good idea.
For all his brilliance, Machida isn’t near the draw that “The Spider” is, so you can bet Dana White & co. will be looking to get Silva back in the cage at any chance they can get. He’s getting old but he’s still regarded as one of the finest martial artists on the planet.
What do you think? Was Silva’s last loss to Weidman truly an accident like “JDS” says? Weidman shouldn’t really have to beat Silva for a third time to prove his reign is legitimate, but we may end up seeing it anyway.
Maybe that’s okay, too, because it’s undoubtedly one of the biggest fights the UFC could make.
As for dos Santos, he’ll just have to wait for a big name opponent as the ultimate heavyweight gatekeeper in his attempt to claw back towards a fourth shot at Velasquez. If the champ can’t return until late this year, dos Santos could find himself fighting the winner of April’s Travis Browne vs. Fabricio Werdum UFC on FOX 11 main event.
Stay tuned to LowKick for any and all developments in this ongoing saga.