Junior dos Santos is currently on deck to face UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, having cemented his already-attained status as number one contender with a dominant unanimous decision win over a returning Shane Carwin.
Holding such a prominent and enviable position in the division, it’s natural for other fighters (those whom he hasn’t faced and defeated) to speculate as to how they’d fare against the Brazilian bomber. Recently, former heavyweight champ Frank Mir asserted that he possesses more punching power than “Cigano,” an assertion dos Santos responded to in a recent interview with FightersOnly.com.
“Who, Frank Mir? He said what?”
Dos Santos laughed through the early part of his response.
“First off, regarding hitting harder than me… [more laughter; pause for breath]
“Look… when a fighter begins either to lose, or not to get satisfactory results, what does he do to promote himself? He talks. And it is what he’s doing. Frank Mir is a guy who likes to talk a lot, talks lots of bullshit and I don’t believe he hits harder than me.
“He certainly may hit hard — he is a heavyweight, a former champion and it is not to be underestimated — but he also is very talkative.”
The 26-year-old was asked if Mir’s knockout victory over his coach and mentor Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira would fuel his desire to face the former champ, but “Cigano” explained that, while he would be happy to show Mir his punching power, Nogueira doesn’t need him to do it.
“And regarding revenge for Nogueira’s loss, it’s not even a factor,” he said.
“I think I would fight Mir any day — if he qualifies himself to face me because, thanks to God, I am a bit ahead of him. But if one day he qualifies, I will fight him with pleasure and will give 100 per cent of myself to win the fight and he would feel who would hit harder, right?
“But not to avenge Minotauro, because Minotauro is Minotauro — a great champion, a legend of the sport and he himself can do it. I am sure in this forthcoming bout he will prove again he has the conditions to defeat both Frank Mir and Velasquez.”