Junior dos Santos has worked his way up the ladder before, so “Cigano” sees no reason he can’t do it again.
Dos Santos meets Ben Rothwell on Sunday at UFC Fight Night 86 from Croatia. The former champion, who is 2-3 over his last five, told “UFC Tonight” about his plans to get back into the hunt.
“I have had some hard times,” he said. “I believe I can be the champion again. This is going to be my first step back to the title shot. I have a very hard opponent in front of me. I love big challenges and I have a very big one in front of me.”
The Brazilian is 17-4 overall after starting his career 15-1. His resume includes wins over Alistair Overeem, Cain Velasquez, Frank Mir and current division kingpin Fabricio Werdum.
Add Rothwell to that list and dos Santos sees no reason why the UFC won’t be calling him soon for a crack at the champion.
“I’ll be right there,” he said. “I’m just waiting for the call from the UFC saying, ‘Junior it’s your time again.’ I’ll be ready for sure. Everything I want is to win this fight against Rothwell.”