Junior dos Santos will look to become the first man to knock out Francis Ngannou at UFC 239, and the former heavyweight champion is confident he gets the job done in the second round.
Speaking to Helen Yee in a recent interview, ‘Cigano,’ a UFC veteran of over ten years, said he plans to gauge his timing in the first round and execute the knockout in the second.
“I would knock him out,” he said (transcript via Abhinav Kini of LowKickMMA.com). “I believe second round. I’m very confident with the second round because the first round, I’m always taking time to see what my opponent is offering me, is trying to do during the fight. So then I can figure it out in the first round how things are working and go a little harder on the second one. So that’s why I really believe I can knock people out this way.”
Dos Santos, 35, is on his first winning streak in eight years, netting three straight wins over Blagoy Ivanov, Tai Tuivasa, and Derrick Lewis. His opponent, Ngannou, is on a two-fight win streak of his own and is perhaps the most ferocious puncher in the heavyweight division. ‘The Predator’ last fought at UFC on ESPN 1, where he knocked out former two-time heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez in the first round.
UFC 239, which features Ngannou vs. Dos Santos on the main card, takes place later this year, July 6 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.