Junior dos Santos isn’t lingering over his loss to Cain Velasquez, which forced him to give back the UFC heavyweight belt he took from him one year prior.
“I want to forget about that and move on,” he today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
He also isn’t letting any of his countrymen get in the way. That means if Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva beats Velasquez at the upcoming UFC 160 card, he won’t have any qualms about fighting his fellow Brazilian.
“If ‘Bigfoot’ wins the title and I beat Mark Hunt, for sure we’re going to fight,” Dos Santos said today during a fan chat. “For the title, we have to fight.”
Dos Santos (15-2 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Hunt (9-7 MMA, 4-1 UFC) serve as co-headliners to Velasquez (11-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Silva (18-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) on the pay-per-view main card of UFC 160, which takes place May 25 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Appearing on MMAjunkie.com Radio after his chat, dos Santos said he isn’t squeamish about using his rarely seen wrestling skills to thwart Hunt, whom he said is a better striker than his originally scheduled opponent, Alistair Overeem. (“The Reem” was forced from the card due to a quadricep injury.)
“You have to get prepared to fight anywhere, and I’m training a lot in my jiu-jitsu skills, and I think I’m getting even more confident in that area,” dos Santos said. “If I feel I have to take him down, I will do that, and I will be looking to submit him.”
Dos Santos said the major lesson he learned from losing to Velasquez, whom he’d knocked out in less than two minutes at UFC on FOX 1, was to be a little bit more flexible with his attack.
“I was trying to fight standing all the time,” he said. “But it’s MMA. You have to use jiu-jitsu and wrestling. So now, it’s more clear to me. I have to use all my skills to win the fights, especially when you’re fighting against someone like Cain Velasquez.”
Fists have served dos Santos fairly well, of course. He has stopped seven of his UFC opponents with them and won the UFC heavyweight belt. But he may have even more of an incentive to vary his game against the iron-jawed Hunt, who has knocked out three of his past four opponents and broken the jaw of his most recent one, Stefan Struve.
One thing is for sure, though: dos Santos isn’t pining to put his hands on Overeem, who jawed at him in the buildup to two fights that wound up canceled by commission troubles and injury. When he received the news that his rival was bowing out, he declined to wait for good health to clear their path toward each other.
“I think it is a joke,” dos Santos said. “He says a lot of things. He’s just one more opponent. I don’t care about who’s going to be my opponent. Whoever the UFC puts in front of me, I’m going to get prepared to beat that guy. Now, he’s not my opponent any more, so I will forget about him.
“I think Mark Hunt puts on a great show all the time. He’s very tough, and I think it’s going to be good for the fans.”
For the latest on UFC 160, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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