UFC heavyweight contender Junior dos Santos sacrificed his planned title shot against champion Cain Velasquez for a chance to keep busy while Velasquez recovers from shoulder. Instead of sitting on the shelf for several months while Velasquez heals, Dos Santos, who has not fought since last August, opted to take a coaching spot on The Ultimate Fighter opposite former champ Brock Lesnar. Though “Cigano” was initially disappointed with the prospect of giving up his title shot, he told MMAJunkie.com recently that he is looking forward to coaching against and eventually facing Lesnar, a respected former champion.
“I’m very excited to fight with him,” dos Santos told MMAJunkie. “He’s a pretty big fighter, and I think he is very dangerous. But I think the fight against him will be very good for me because I think I am faster than him, and I’m going to use my boxing, for sure. I always use my boxing to win fights. That’s going to happen again. I think he doesn’t accept punches very well. I don’t know why. I guess because he’s from wrestling. I am from boxing. I have no problem with punches. The guys can punch me, and I feel nothing. I just keep going. That doesn’t happen with him. He’s got a weak chin.”
Dos Santos believes Lesnar’s glass jaw was on display in his last two fights against Cain Velasquez and Shane Carwin, both bouts where Lesnar was put on queer street. “Cigano” believes that he will also be able to exploit that particular weakness of Lesnar’s when they eventually square off and isn’t terribly worried about the marked size advantage Lesnar will carry with him to the cage.
“I think Carwin was good in his fight against Brock, but he got tired too soon,” he said. “Brock showed how dangerous he is. Against Cain, I was there in the arena. The fight was very good. Brock started 100 percent – like a truck with no driver – attacking Cain Velasquez, and Cain just waited for the right moment to change the fight and beat Brock Lesnar. Cain was perfect. I think once you’re over 220 pounds, it’s all the same thing. All the guys are huge and strong. I believe in me. I think I can knock him out.”
Taping of The Ultimate Fighter season 13 began this week and both Lesnar and dos Santos are currently camped out in Las Vegas, Nevada, where they will stay for the duration of the show. No date has been set for their eventual match up, but, barring injuries, it is safe to assume that their fight will take place upon the conclusion of TUF 13.