One UFC heavyweight fighter was paying a little more attention to Saturday night’s UFC 121 title fight between Cain Velasquez and Brock Lesnar than the rest; that man is Junior dos Santos, who was long ago announced as the next contender to the heavyweight belt. MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani caught up with Dos Santos after the fight (which saw Lesnar toppled in the first round by now-champion Velasquez) to get his opinion on Velasquez’s win and his thoughts on how a fight between himself and the new champ will play out.
“Yeah, I’m very surprised,” dos Santos said of Velasquez’s big win. “Cain was perfect in the fight because he waited for the early attack from Brock, waited for the right moment to change the fight and win. It was very impressive.”
Dos Santos believes that Lesnar is clearly not a fan of getting punched and that the former champion doesn’t hold up too well to abuse. “Cigano” believes that it was that fact coupled with Lesnar’s early bullrush that eventually spelled the end for the Goliath-sized Minnesotan.
“I think Brock Lesnar doesn’t accept punches [well]…,” he said. “That was the way for Cain [to achieve victory]. Cain was very smart, wait a little bit–when Brock started the fight he started like a beast, attacking all the time. I said, ‘Wow, he’s gonna get tired soon.’ In my mind that’s what happened, he got tired and Cain changed the fight.”
Helwani asked dos Santos who he wanted to win in the title fight based on which opponent he would rather face but the Black House team member responded that it never mattered to him which fighter he faced. The only thing that matters to dos Santos is getting his hands on the belt.
“Honestly, it doesn’t matter for me,” said dos Santos. “I don’t care about who’s gonna fight with me. Congratulations for Cain, he deserved that. He’s a big fighter now. For me, it doesn’t matter who’s going to be my opponent. What matter to me is to fight and try to get that title.”
Now he knows it will be Velasquez whom he’ll challenge for the belt and dos Santos promised that he is up for the challenge.
“This man is tough,” said dos Santos of Velasquez. “I think I’m tough too. I believe so much in me and my hands. I think he’s gonna try to put me down but I have good defense to takedowns. If he passes my hands, he’s gonna try to take me down.”
Dos Santos went on to say that he is unsure of when the fight will go down, but that he hopes it comes as soon as possibly and preferentially in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dos Santos is currently on a seven fight winning streak and has only lost one bout in thirteen professional fights. Only one of his last seven bouts has gone the distance (a unanimous decision over Roy Nelson) as he has defeated six of those opponents via KO, TKO or submission due to strikes.