Heavyweight contender Junior dos Santos made his displeasure clear when it was announced that UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez would be forced to sit out for several months with a shoulder injury, postponing their planned bout. “Cigano’s” spirits turned however, when he was given the opportunity to coach on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite former champion Brock Lesnar, with the standard post-TUF coaches bout on the table.
dos Santos spoke about the opportunity to Portal do Vale Tudo (props to FightersOnly.com for the translation), whom he told he is excited and looking forward to exposing himself to new fans and testing himself against one of the heavyweight division’s most feared competitors.
“My next bout would be for the belt but this one is welcomed. It will increase my resumé so much” said dos Santos “I liked the choice and the opportunity to be the coach of the reality show, this will be a big challenge. My English isn’t 100% yet but I will do my best and I am sure and I will do well.”
“Cigano” told Portal that he still plans on fighting for the belt, and that his game plan won’t actually change all that much between Velasquez and Lesnar.
“I will do my work and continue looking for this belt. This always was my target and my intention is to keep fighting to achieve it,” he said. “Lesnar is a very tough guy, he is different from Cain Velasquez for his height. He is a little slower but is as dangerous as Cain. It’ll be different but I will work the same thing, takedown defense and boxing.”
A pupil under Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and a training partner to the likes of Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, Rafael Cavalcante, and more, dos Santos has a wealth of training partners and coaches to bring with him onto the show. He gave Portal a tentative idea as to who he might employ on his coaching staff.
“I’m still choosing my team… [Luiz] Dorea will be the boxing coach, Billy [an American friend] the Muay Thai coach,” said dos Santos. “I’m thinking on someone from jiu-jitsu and perhaps Rodrigo Artilheiro in wrestling, he is very good and speaks Portuguese and English, which will help in the communication. I guess the team will be complete in the beginning of the next week.”
dos Santos last appeared in action at UFC 117 this past August 7th, where he took out Roy “Big Country” Nelson by unanimous decision.
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