Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos is looking to claw back to the top of that illustrious mountain with a victory over the surging Mark Hunt at UFC 160. When his original opponent Alistair Overeem withdrew from the fight with a quad injury, JDS started mentally preparing for another task. Speaking to MMA Fight Corner, he said his feud with Overeem, although unfulfilled, is over:
“Alistair Overeem is…I have nothing to say about this guy. He pulled out one more time for the fight, so I have nothing to say about him. What I care now is about Mark Hunt. Mark Hunt is a really tough fighter, he hits very hard, so I have to take care of that. I think it’s going to be a good fight for the fans. I’m getting prepared in Brazil and I think I’m going to be a hundred percent on the day of the fight.”
Dos Santos has moved onto another fight and another focus, noting that Hunt obviously has incredible power in his striking. ‘Cigano’ knows that Hunt is most likely the only step left to climb to another title shot. JDS addressed the heavy-hitting former K-1 Champion:
“He’s got a lot of power in his punches and I think it’s going to be pretty tough for me. I think I’m faster than him and I’m more complete than him, I think so. I learned a lot of things in my last fight and during my career and I know it’s MMA and you have to be ready to fight anywhere. So, that’s how I will be for my next fight. I’ll be ready to fight anywhere and if I feel weird fighting standing with him, I’m going to take him down.”
Dos Santos is well known for his striking prowess, but he also has supposedly has a ton of skill on the ground, being a BJJ student of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. He will look to get back to a trilogy bout with Cain Velasquez, who faces off against Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva in a rematch at UFC 160 as well. JDS will look to fight Velasquez, as Silva is a good friend and training partner of his. He spoke briefly about their pivotal title rematch at UFC 155:
“This sport is very tough. You have to be smart to learn with your mistakes. Cain Velasquez did a great job in that fight, but I feel like I wasn’t there. I wasn’t fighting against him. I didn’t impose my gameplan, and I just followed him. That was really tough, but I really learned a lot and it’s MMA. I really have to use all the weapons that I have – my jiu jitsu, my wrestling. So I learned that and I think I’m going to come back stronger.”
Cigano will make his case from another title shot this May. Will he return to championship form?