The thirteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter is well underway now, with the fifth episode set to air this week. As such, coaches Junior dos Santos and Brock Lesnar are in the middle of preparing for their June fight.
Dos Santos recently spoke with R7.com (props to FightersOnly for the translation) about his preparation — which he indicated is going very well — and his game plan for the former heavyweight champion.
“It’s going well,” dos Santos said of his training for Lesnar. “I am giving emphasis to physical conditioning and boxing. I won’t go there to wrestle with him but of course I’m training wrestling as well as jiu jitsu. I’ll keep updated in these fields even to surprise in the fight but my focus is boxing. I am sure if I am okay on the fight day I will keep the bout standing.”
Riding a seven-fight winning streak on the strength of his boxing, “Cigano” explained that, in addition to shoring up his takedown defense, he is prepared to fight Lesnar — a former NCAA Division-1 champ — from off of his back, should the giant-sized wrestler manage to drag him to the mat.
“You can be sure [laughs],” dos Santos said when asked if he would be comfortable on the mat against Lesnar. “I’m not a specialist and can’t compare to the great jiu jitsu fighters in MMA like Nogueira brothers and Demian Maia but I am sure I can surprise whoever it is. I don’t want the fight on the ground but as soon as the guy takes me down and holds me there, people will see my game. My job has been working well standing and this is the path I will follow. I train with Yuri Carlton, my jiu-jitsu master, but I always have the example of beasts like Demian Maia, Antonio Peinado and of course Nogueiras.”
Dos Santos and Lesnar will meet in the main event of UFC 131, which will take place on June 11 at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.