Earlier today, we read Cain Velasquez's reaction to appearing in the main event for the UFC's debut on Fox. USA Today's Sergio Non also talked to the other man opposite Velasquez, Junior dos Santos. The Brazilian, not surprisingly, offered a little more substance in his remarks.
Q: When UFC called to ask you about moving to the Nov. 12 Fox show, what went through your head?
Dos Santos: The first words that came to my head were euphoria and happiness. I was ecstatic. I feel privileged and honored to be part of such an important piece of UFC history. I was very, very pleased with the invitation.
Let me ask you something that I also asked Cain. Typically a lot of the money star fighters get is from pay-per-view. Was there any concern about losing some of that income to go on free TV, or has UFC compensated you for that?
I actually don't have pay-per-view because I'm not champion yet, so that's not really a factor for me. But I believe this is such a huge thing for the sport, and so good for the growth of MMA and for the growth of the UFC. It's going to open huge things for everybody, including in the way of compensation.
Because of the increased media, because it's on open-network television, you become more attractive to sponsors; the sponsorship opportunities grow. Even for people who have pay-per-view in a situation like this, to view it as a loss would be very short-sighted. In the middle- and long-term, it's just an amazing thing for the sport, including for the financial compensation of its athletes.
Dos Santos's personality shines through in the rest of the interview as well. He and Non discuss the relief of finally getting his title shot, mimicking the speed and skills of Velasquez, and dealing with a partisan crowd in Anaheim, California.