UFC heavyweight contender Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos has been steadily climbing the heavyweight ranks since he entered the UFC in 2008 and is now poised to take on Roy “Big Country” Nelson at UFC 117 this August in a bout that will determine the next number one heavyweight contender. Having taken out the likes of Gabriel Gonzaga, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Gilbert Yvel, Stefan Struve and Fabricio Werdum at the ends of his fists, Dos Santos plans on doing the same to “Big Country” when they meet this August 7th.
“If he tries to attack me, I will knock him out,” Dos Santos said in a recently released UFC hype video.
Dos Santos wants to be clear, though, that he is not a one trick pony and that he focuses on all areas of mixed martial arts when preparing for a fight.
“I train in jiu-jitsu a lot,” said the Black House team member. “I train in wrestling a lot too and I believe in me. I’m not the best in one category, I try to be good in all the categories.”
“Cigano” trains frequently with the legendary Nogueira brothers and holds a brown belt under them in their chosen focus of Brazilian jiu-jitsu (Dos Santos owns three submission wins but only one was truly a technical submission: a guillotine choke win over Eduardo Maiorino in 2006). He acknowledges that Nelson possesses a formidable ground game but maintains that he is ready for the fight to hit the floor and may even surprise some people with his abilities on the mat.
“He’s good,” Dos Santos said of Nelson. “He has good hands. He’s a black belt in jiu-jitsu. He trains with Renzo [Gracie]. He’s good in jiu-jitsu, but I can surprise him with submissions too. I’m going to show you guys what I can do on the floor.”
On his motivation for this bout, Dos Santos explained simply that he desires to be the UFC Heavyweight Champion and plans on taking out anyone who gets in between him and his goal.
“I want to be champion soon and I want to fight with the best guys in the UFC soon. He is in my way and I will take him out of my way.”
Dos Santos and Nelson will square off August 7th at UFC 117 which is going down at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The card is headlined by a middleweight title fight between champion Anderson Silva and challenger Chael Sonnen and is supported on the main card by bouts between welterweight contenders Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves, lightweights Clay Guida and Rafael Dos Anjos, and former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes and Ricardo Almeida.