Junior dos Santos defended his UFC heavyweight championship for the first time on Saturday night, knocking out former titlist Frank Mir in the main event of UFC 146.

Prior to his triumph at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, however, “Cigano” successfully foretold how the fight would end at Friday’s weigh-ins. His title belt now resting securely around his waist, Dos Santos says that the prophetic prediction was not made out of simple gamesmanship. According to the champ, he truly believed that he would hit the jackpot in round two.

“[The second-round knockout] was my strategy for the fight,” dos Santos at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “I thought he came to take me down, and in the first round, I was trying to keep my distance and make him tired. In the second round, it was my plan to walk a little more forward than in the first, and it worked. I think when you believe so much in yourself, that things happen. That’s why I’m so positive.”

Mir attempted to close the distance early in round one, latching onto a single-leg before trying to pull the champion down into a foot lock. The American’s efforts proved fruitless, as the champion escaped and then began to work his jab, staggering Mir with a right hook to close out the frame.

Things only got worse for Mir in the second stanza. Dos Santos started to loosen up even further, rifling shots to Mir’s body and head while avoiding most of Mir’s blows and keeping out of takedown range. The finish came 3:04 into round two, when the Brazilian snapped back Mir’s head with a hard right straight and landed a hammering fist on the ground for good measure. Though he was dominant from start to finish, dos Santos was complimentary of his opponent’s resilience after the bout.

“This was a good fight for me,” said dos Santos. “[Mir] can really take a punch. I’m feeling some pain on my hand now. It was a good fight, but every fight that I have, I have more experience. I came into this fight more confident to use my speed and my boxing skills to win.”

Upon earning the knockout, dos Santos was cheered enthusiastically by a large contingent of Brazilian supporters, some of which dos Santos says came to the event just to see him fight.

“It was fantastic for me to see all of the Brazilian flags. All the Brazilian people in the crowd made me so proud and so energized,” said dos Santos. “Every time I looked up, I could hear them and see the flags. It was such a great, positive vibe, and I’m so glad to be here representing everybody from Brazil. I thank them for their support.”

Now with a successful title defense to his credit, dos Santos is expected to next put his belt on the line against the man he knocked out to capture the gold, Cain Velasquez. While dos Santos declined to offer a prediction on how that return fight might play out, he says he would approach the bout as the most important of his career.

“I don’t care who is my next opponent. If I have to fight with Velasquez again, I’m ready. Let’s do it,” said dos Santos. “Velasquez is really tough. In my mind, he is different in this division, because he is very fast and his stamina is really good. For sure, he is dangerous and a good fighter.”

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

Related News

Thiago Moises calling for second-round knockout in RFA 44 title defense

  • 27 days ago

When Thiago Moises made his RFA debut, he was coming off his first career loss. Since that defeat, he has become one of the promotion’s most impressive competitors, rattling off three straight finish read news >>

Who is Next for Dominick Cruz? Dana White Weighs In | MMAWeekly.com

  • 26 days ago

Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz defended his title in June at UFC 199. His next title defense is in the works, but whom he’ll face is still in question. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 96 results: Curtis Blaydes takes out Cody East with nasty second-round elbows

  • 23 days ago

PORTLAND, Ore. – With a full training camp behind him, and a new team, as well, Curtis Blaydes used blade-like elbows to take out Cody East for his first UFC win.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC 204 results: Marc Diakiese shuts down Lukasz Sajewski for second-round TKO in UFC debut

  • 16 days ago

MANCHESTER, England – For one round, UFC newcomer Marc Diakiese encountered his nightmare in the octagon – getting smothered by Lukasz Sajewski. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC 204 results: Jimi Manuwa flattens Ovince Saint Preux for vicious KO in second-round

  • 16 days ago

MANCHESTER, England – After one round of having his way with Jimi Manuwa on the mat, Ovince Saint Preux quickly faded in the second round. Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

After UFC 204, Where Does Michael Bisping Stand in the Middleweight Division?

  • 14 days ago

Michael Bisping successfully defended his middleweight title at UFC 204 on Saturday, wringing a tight decision from the judges in his native Manchester, England. The 37-year-old champion has now won read news >>

Frank Mir Moving to the Broadcast Booth This Weekend | MMAWeekly.com

  • 7 days ago

Absolute Championship Berkut announced today that two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion of the World Frank Mir has joined the ACB commentary team. read news >>

Tim Kennedy Disagreed with Judges Scoring Michael Bisping Over Dan Henderson | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago

Michael Bisping successfully defended his title for the first time at UFC 204 against Dan Henderson, but Tim Kennedy scored it differently. read news >>