Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos admits he is going through a “weird moment” in his MMA career after suffering a third straight loss for the first time.

Dos Santos fell short against Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 252 this past weekend. Prior to that he also took losses against Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes.

Speaking to MMA Fighting the 36-year-old admitted he was surprised to have lost again as he was feeling great before and during the fight.

“We know a fight is a fight and everything is possible, but I was feeling great, one of the best shapes I’ve ever had,” dos Santos said. “There’s always that pre-fight tension, but I was very confident. And maybe I didn’t follow the strategy, which was to vary my attacks instead of doing what I do best, which is my boxing.

“I found the distance, I was seeing everything clearly, everything was going well, and all of a sudden… It’s that heavyweight thing, especially against Jairzinho, who hits really hard, one of his punches grazed and you go out for a brief moment and that’s enough to take you out of your game and your opponent uses that to finish the fight. I was doing really well and it was unfortunate that I lost.”

The Brazilian openly discussed suffering a third consecutive loss, he said.

“A difficult moment. I’m going through a weird moment where it’s very difficult for things to go right. We have to evolve. Sometimes we can’t even understand what needs to be changed or not. Regardless of that, man, it’s obvious that we’re analyzing my reaction to his movements in there, but it’s hard to come to a simple answer, you know? I really call it a bad phase.

“We obviously have to learn and try to absorb as much as we can to get better for the fight. And maybe we need to work more on not giving openings to our opponents, you know? Follow the plan we had instead of letting the fight go, using more kicks, boxing, wrestling and even jiu-jitsu.”

“It really bothers me because it’s the third consecutive loss,” dos Santos said. “I know what I’m capable of and I know my skills, I see myself in great shape both technically and physically as an athlete, and not having positive results makes no sense.”

Do you think Junior dos Santos can bounce back from this poor run of results?

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A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.