If you were hoping Junior dos Santos would blast Alistair Overeem for reportedly turning down two fights against him, think again.
A fight between dos Santos and Overeem is one UFC fans have anticipated ever since “The Reem” destroyed Brock Lesnar in his octagon debut several years back.
UFC officials first booked the fight at UFC 146, then again at UFC 160 – but outside circumstances (Overeem’s failed drug test and then an injury) prevented the matchup from coming to fruition.
The latest twist in the ongoing saga featured UFC President Dana White telling FOX Sports 1’s “UFC Tonight” that Overeem turned down two future dates with dos Santos and proceeded to flee to Jamaica for a vacation. Overeem quickly denied the characterization by saying he was dealing with some nagging injuries, leaving the fight dead in the water once again.
In a heavyweight division where main-event-worthy bouts are few and far between, one would think dos Santos would be upset about again missing out on a big payday. The Brazilian, though, claims he couldn’t care less.
“I don’t care about this guy,” dos Santos today told MMAjunkie Radio. “I don’t care what’s going to happen with him right now. I’m here to fight with anyone in the heavyweight division. It’s like that.
“He’s a good opponent, but right now I think this fight will not happen again.”
On the comeback trail from a second lopsided loss to divisional kingpin Cain Velasquez, “Cigano” feels he’s in no place to pick and choose who he fights at this time. As always, he said he’s willing to test his skills against anyone the UFC puts in front of him.
“I’m sure the UFC is going to bring someone good to be making a fight against me,” dos Santos said. “We have great fighters in the heavyweight division, and I like it a lot right now.”
While dos Santos (16-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) claims he is open to fighting anyone, there are only a few realistic options for the former champ. Two matchups that seemingly make sense are against rising contender Stipe Moicic (11-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and former UFC titleholder Josh Barnett (33-7 MMA, 5-2 UFC).
Dos Santos admits both matchups are intriguing, but if he had his choice, he said he’d face Miocic, a fighter who also like to trade strikes and would mesh perfectly in terms of style.
“I prefer Miocic,” dos Santos said. “I think Miocic is living a very good moment in his career, so it could be a good fight for the people.”
When asked about the potential matchup at a Thursday media luncheon, White said it could be a possibility with Overeem out of the picture.
“Yeah — I like that matchup too,” White said. “It isn’t going to be Alistair, I’ll tell you that.”
For more on UFC Fight Night 36, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.
MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, MMAjunkie lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.
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