First UFC Loss Behind Him, Junior dos Santos Focused on Mark Hunt and Regaining Title


Junior Dos Santos at UFC 131There’s an old saying in fight sports that goes something to the effect of: it’s not the wins in your career that define you; it’s the losses.

For former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, his dose of MMA reality came at the hands of Cain Velasquez at UFC 155 in December of last year. Since suffering his first defeat in the vaunted Octagon, dos Santos has had time to reflect on the stinging defeat to the Mexican-American bruiser, do some much needed soul searching, and refocus on his ultimate objective.

“The first four days after the fight was a depressing time,” dos Santos said on Wednesday during a promotional stop in anticipation for his upcoming fight against Mark Hunt at UFC 160 on May 25 in Las Vegas.

“It was tough. I was really, really sad. Because the thing is, I didn’t fight. I don’t care if the other guy is better than me and he wins because he did very well and I performed very well.  But in that fight, I didn’t fight. Cain Velasquez did very well, but I didn’t fight, so I was very sad.  After some time, I began to think about some things and I learned a lot.”

“Cigano” admits to re-watching that haunting fight over and over again, trying to piece together just what went wrong.

”When I watched the fight, I didn’t know I was out in the first round.  I don’t remember that punch,” he said when referring to a Velasquez right hand that dropped him to the canvas with just over a minute left in the opening frame.

After that, it was all down hill according to the former champion.

“When I watched the fight and saw that punch, (I realized) everything changed after that.  It was almost like automatic reactions after that – just defending myself.”

The thing is, he’s not wrong.

Up until that punch from Velasquez, he was doing fairly well, especially in Cain’s bread and butter area of wrestling, where dos Santos had stuffed all six of his opening takedown attempts.

Velasquez went on to batter dos Santos for 20 minutes in a fight that had UFC president Dana White predicting post-fight that the battered Brazilian would be taking some time off, because as White put it, “You need to take some time off after a beating like that.”

There’s always a silver lining, however, and not unlike his throngs of fans around the world, dos Santos was impressed with his ability to persevere in the face of a crushing heavyweight bruiser like Velasquez.

“I think I learned a lot from that fight,” he stated. “I always try to see the positive in everything. I was fighting (hard) and I think I’m pretty tough doing that (lasting five rounds), even if I got beat.”

Next up, dos Santos turns his attention to the surging heavyweight slugger out of New Zealand, former Pride and K-1 standout Mark Hunt.  A fan favorite, Hunt is currently riding a four-fight winning streak and is on the verge of a heavyweight title shot, after once being considered an afterthought from the Pride FC purchase in 2007.

For dos Santos – who was set to face Dutch striker Alistair Overeem before he was forced out due to injury – the Hunt fight is a bit more compelling in his eyes, as well as dangerous.

“I think for sure it’s gonna change (training and preparation) a little,” he stated. “The strategy will be a little bit different because I think Mark Hunt is tougher than Alistair Overeem.”

Overeem and dos Santos have had a contentious relationship with PED accusations flying and snarling taunts – something that is uncharacteristic for the mostly jovial Brazilian.  Although he may dislike Overeem, he certainly wasn’t going to wait to fight him or stall his career.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t care about Alistair Overeem. He’s a joker,” he said with a hint of disinterest. “I couldn’t stay waiting for him. Who is he?

“He’s not the champion. If he was the champion, it would be a pleasure to wait for him. But he’s nobody in the division that I should be waiting (for).”

When pressed about his discontent, the usually upbeat Cigano shrugged off any media fodder and said it was strictly about Overeem’s propensity for disrespect.

“He says so many things about me when he fought Bigfoot Silva. And now he says a lot about Bigfoot Silva after he fought him,” dos Santos explained. “It’s very hard to listen to that. And people give him a lot of attention just because he says those things.  I don’t like to be disrespectful to anyone, but in this case, he’s a joker.

“The main thing I don’t like is that he lies a lot. He says a lot of ‘trash’ things. It makes me sad.  You have to show who you are inside the cage. You can’t win it (by talking) outside the cage.”

Maybe one day Overeem and dos Santos will finally hash it out in the cage. In dos Santos’ mind, it doesn’t really seem to matter.

He talks openly about his appreciation for life and the opportunities given him, he trains hard so the fight is easy, and it’s now a fight-by-fight proposition for the former heavyweight champ.

Next up is Mark Hunt, and after that it’s whoever has the heavyweight belt.  He informs me that no matter who has the gold, whether it is Velasquez, Silva, or anyone in between, he’s only concerned with getting his championship back.

“The title is more important (than Velasquez rematch). The title is the objective of everybody, I think; for sure it’s my objective.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

  • 24 days ago
  • 51 views

It’s hard to believe a fighter like Junior dos Santos, a former UFC champion with a record of 16-3, may be a man with no place to go, but that’s the situation before him now. Granted, the UFC will no read news >>

  • 5 days ago
  • 32 views

BRASILIA, Brazil – Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos is nearing one year on the sidelines, and he’s not happy about it. But with a hand that’s nearly healed, the Brazilian is hoping f read news >>

  • 5 days ago
  • 1412 views

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos is bailing on a potential Alistair Overeem fight, because "Demolition Man" keeps getting knocked out in a "hard" 265 read news >>

  • 15 hours ago
  • 1 views

Heavy-handed heavyweight Mark "Super Samoan" Hunt steps into the Octagon against wrestler Chris Tuchscherer. Check out the full fight video here. read news >>

  • 20 days ago
  • 5 views

Mark Hunt has signed a new six-fight deal with the UFC and he will likely retire from fighting upon fulfilling his contract, according to a report on Wednesday. Hunt spoke with UFC Tonight and explai read news >>

  • 19 days ago
  • 37 views

So much for those unemployment rumors. Mark Hunt recently sent fight fans into a bit of a frenzy after he published a cryptic tweet implying that he was no longer employed by Ultimate Fighting Champi read news >>

  • 5 days ago
  • 5 views

Georges St-Pierre may or may not return to the octagon, but when he does, a title shot is waiting for him, according to UFC President Dana White.Filed under: Featured, MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>

  • 2 days ago
  • 165 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is feeling charitable ahead of its upcoming UFC Fight Night 52: "Hunt vs. Nelson" mixed martial arts (MMA) event, which takes place this Saturday night (Sept. 20, read news >>

  • 5 hours ago
  • 0 views

Headlined by a heavyweight clash between Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson, UFC Fight Night 52 should deliver some fireworks on Saturday. In addition to the main attraction, the fight card also features an im read news >>