A seasoned bantamweight vet of the Brazilian circuit is ready to take a second shot at his UFC career. After taking on Nad Narimani at featherweight on only 11-days notice back in November of 2018, Anderson dos Santos is now back to his original division and has a complete training camp under his belt to take on Andre Ewell at UFC Greenville.
In an interview with Bloody Elbow, the 33-year-old explained how he was able to prepare for almost two months to take on Ewell, and why he does not regret having his UFC debut under the conditions he did. ‘Berinja’ takes a rather optimistic view on wins and losses in the fighting business.
“I believe I’m much better prepared for this fight than my last one. I had the time to do a full training camp, I heard about this fight almost two months ago,” dos Santos said. “I was already training hard, waiting for a chance to fight in the UFC again. I dedicated myself to boxing, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, those are the martial arts I feel comfortable with. That’s how I adapted. I always trained everything, so it was all just a matter of having more time to train. In fact, I can’t even say that something went wrong in my debut. It didn’t. I just didn’t win the fight. Sometimes winning doesn’t mean something went wrong or that something was missing. I took the fight on an 11-day notice, in a weight class above mine, against a really strong opponent and went three hard rounds against him. I lost the decision, but it was a good fight. I walked out with my chin up.”
Despite the negative outcome, dos Santos does not think he was affected by the dreaded UFC jitters. In fact, the 33-year-old says both the UFC and fans praised his effort on the short notice bout.
“I was complimented by the UFC and fans, so it was good for me,” dos Santos explained. “A loss is never good, we always want to win, but I don’t look at it as something that went wrong. I don’t think that UFC jitters got to me. That was my 27th fight. Of course there is some anxiety, that feeling of a dream coming true, but once the Octagon door closed, it was just another fight against another guy I needed to beat.”
Now paired up against Andre Ewell, a man who defeated former champion Renan Barao via split decision in his UFC debut, Anderson sees the upcoming challenge as a great opportunity to beat someone who defeat an ex-champ. It’s a win he believes would really stand out on his record.
“He beat Renan Barao, so that makes it a big opportunity for me. Regardless of his latest performances, Barao is a former champion, he can be at his worst – and even old some years from now – but if you beat him, you can still say you defeated a former champion. So Ewell defeated a former champion in his UFC debut. If I can beat him after he was able to pull that off, that would put me in a good place.”
Before his loss to Narimani, Anderson dos Santos (20-7) was on a three-fight winning streak on the regional circuit. Now, the Team Oyama and Babuino Gold Team fighter is expected to take on Andre Ewell at UFC Fight Night 154, in Greenville, South Carolina, on June 22. The card will be headlined by a featherweight bout between Renato Moicano and Chan Sung Jung.