Junior dos Santos is one of the most respectful and well-respected veterans in the Octagon today. The former UFC Heavyweight Champion is still going strong. He last fought in June where he was knocked out by Francis "The Predator" Ngannou in a matter of 71 seconds.
However, before that, he was riding an impressive 3-fight win streak over Blagoy Ivanov, Tai Tuivasa, and Derrick Lewis - the latter two of him he finished. Before that, he was in title contention as well. At the age of 35, the Brazilian is still going strong and will be taking on Curtis Blaydes in the main event of UFC Raleigh this weekend on January 25th.
Junior dos Santos spoke to UFC.com about his upcoming main event against Blaydes:
This is what I love to do. I feel great when I have a fight. So that’s why I accepted to fight Curtis Blaydes now. Soon after all the surgeries I had on my leg because when I don’t have a challenge in my life. I feel bad and things don’t happen in a good way in my life. So I want to have a challenge.
He said that when he was offered the Curtis Blaydes fight, he didn't even realize that he was third in the rankings. He slammed Blaydes for having a "boring" fight style:
“I know he’s a tough fighter and he has a very boring game. The kind of game that I hate. But, it makes the challenge even more exciting for me. It makes me more excited to go out there and knock him out or even submit him. Maybe it’s a good opportunity for me to go there and use my jiu-jitsu.”
It's going to be an interesting bout stylistically. While the winner would normally get a title shot, that isn't going to happen since Francis Ngannou is the next contender in line.
Should he beat Jairzinho Rozenstruik on March 28th, he'll have to wait until Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier III finishes. The Heavyweight division has unfortunately been a bit clogged up due to the Miocic-Cormier rivalry.Published 24 Jan 2020, 12:25 IST