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Junior dos Santos thinks Francis Ngannou is ‘above average,’ but sees holes in his game

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Junior dos Santos believes he will be able to exploit Francis Ngannou’s flaws when they meet at UFC Minneapolis.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos thinks he might have an edge of his next opponent.

Paired up against hard-hitting Francis Ngannou at UFC Minneapolis’ main event, the Brazilian does admit that the ‘Predator’ has his strong suits, going as far as deeming Francis as the most dangerous fighter in the division.

However, in an interview with Combate, Junior explains that although Ngannou is very powerful and can finish a fight at any given time, he lacks the technique to put that power to use in the best way possible.

“Ngannou is a very strong guy, very powerful, he’s kind of out of the ordinary,” dos Santos said. “All heavyweights hit hard, but he’s a little above average. You have to be careful, I think he’s the most dangerous fighter in the division. It’s like I said, all the power without the right amount of control is good for nothing. I think he does some things wrong, and I’ll try to take advantage of those.”

Despite having only one submission win in his entire MMA career, dos Santos is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt under Yuri Carlton and does not dismiss the possibility of taking Francis to the ground, which was the approach that former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic successfully used to nullify Ngannou’s power. However, ‘Cigano’ still prefers to search for the knockout if a clear opportunity for a takedown does not appear.

“MMA is MMA, right?” dos Santos said. “You must be ready for all situations that can come up in a fight. My intention never was and will never be to take someone down, but if he gives me a chance, I won’t hesitate take him down. On the contrary, I’ll use it to fight on the ground. But my main focus is to always go for the knockout and I very much believe I will knock him out.”

Currently on a three-fight winning streak, with victories over Derrick Lewis, Tai Tuivasa and Blagoy Ivanov, Junior dos Santos (21-5) hasn’t lost since a TKO defeat to then champion Stipe Miocic, in May 2017. Now, the 35-year-old is expected to take on Francis Ngannou at UFC on ESPN 3, on June 29, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.