With an August win over Roy “Big Country” Nelson, Junior “Cigano” dos Santos earned himself a shot at the winner of the Cain Velasquez-Brock Lesnar title fight, which went down in October. Velasquez dominated Lesnar en route to a TKO stoppage and with that, the match up between Velasquez and dos Santos was born.
Though the fight has yet to receive a date, dos Santos and his team have already begun preparing for Velasquez. dos Santos’ boxing coach, Luiz Dorea, spoke with Portal do Vale Tudo (props to Fighters Only) recently about the upcoming match up, what he thinks of Velasquez and why he is confident that dos Santos will bring the belt back to Brazil.
“A great athlete, very well physically, a real fighter,” Dorea said of Velasquez. “He punches well, kicks well and is amazing in wrestling with a good game on the mat. I think Cain’s a complete fighter, focused and well-prepared, but I think ‘Cigano’ has been built to become a champion. He achieved the current condition [number one contender for heavyweight title] for his merit fighting Fabricio Werdum, Stephan Struve, ‘Cro Cop,’ Gilbert Yvel, Gabriel Napao and then Roy Nelson, a bout where he learned a lot because he hadn’t fought three rounds yet.”
Dorea pointed to dos Santos’ training partners–a veritable who’s who of Brazilian fighters–as one of the reasons why “Cigano’s” skills have become so sharp. He explained that the key to defeating Velasquez will likely rest in dos Santos’ ability to defend the takedown and put together his powerful punching combinations.
“We believe so much in the power ‘Cigano’ has, physically, technically, the way he punches, good defense… he has a good jiu-jitsu and trains with Nogueira’s brother, Anderson Silva, Demian Maia, Raphael ‘Feijao,’ but he believes in his boxing a lot, that’s his main weapon,” said Dorea. “We train him to boxing, takedown defense, and boxing again and it won’t be different against Cain. We believe in his ability so much. He’ll be stronger and faster and Cain will have to be very strong to absorb punches. This is going to be a great match-up but I believe in ‘Cigano’ a lot.”
What do you think of the match up between dos Santos and Velasquez? Give us your opinions and predictions in the comments section.