Junior Dos Santos gave his reaction to some comments made by his next opponent, former title contender Francis Ngannou.
The two hard-hitting heavyweight stars were slated to meet at the UFC 239 pay-per-view (PPV) event on July 6th. However, the fight has been moved up as it will now headline the UFC Minneapolis show.
Ngannou stated during a recent media scrum in Las Vegas that he doesn’t believe dos Santos is a real black belt. This is despite “JDS’” longtime jiu-jitsu coach awarding him his black belt one day before his rematch with Cain Velasquez several years ago during his reign as heavyweight champion:
“First of all, I don’t believe that jiu-jitsu black belt,” Ngannou said (h/t MMA Weekly). “I don’t believe in dos Santos’ jiu-jitsu black belt. I don’t know where he’s from, but I don’t believe that. And I don’t mind that at all.
“But you never know what some fighter is gonna come up with. I always keep thinking maybe he’ll try some wrestling, takedown, but it’s not his comfort zone, but I don’t know. He might try everything. But the most important is I’m prepared for every little (thing).”
Although JDS has only submitted one opponent in his pro-MMA career, he’s known for his knockout power. He tapped out Eduardo Maiorino with a guillotine choke in his second professional fight in 2006. JDS recently fired back at Ngannou’s statements in a recent interview with a puzzled reaction:
“I honestly don’t know what’s his strategy with saying something like that, but if he’s trying to avoid getting punched in the face, that didn’t work,” dos Santos told MMA Fighting. “And he came to that conclusion based on what? Come on.”
UFC Minneapolis is set to take place on Saturday, June 29, 2019, at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.