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Junior dos Santos vows to remain top contender, says earning title shot will take ‘more time now’

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Junior dos Santos isn’t going anywhere following his devastating loss to Francis Ngannou.

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Junior dos Santos may have fallen short in a crucial fight with Francis Ngannou, but he doesn’t believe his days as a heavyweight contender in the UFC are over.

“I’ve been on top of this division since the beginning, since my debut. I’ve already fought so many guys,” dos Santos said following a first-round TKO loss to Ngannou last weekend at UFC Minneapolis. “This division is dangerous — especially [Ngannou], he’s a little different, he has a lot of power.

“I don’t think it’s taken away any credit from me. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”

When asked what the former heavyweight champion wants next, the Brazilian dos Santos didn’t have an answer — it was only hours after falling to Ngannou in the event’s headliner after all. But dos Santos has found himself in this situation before, and has successfully bounced back, and that’s exactly what he plans on doing yet again.

“[Losing] wasn’t on my plans, so I don’t really know what to tell you right now,” dos Santos said. “I had a lot of plans in a different situation, a different result. It’s so hard to build your way up in this division and this sport. Sometimes everything all of a sudden disappears in front of you. I’m a positive guy and I’m ready to rebuild. I know how to do it, and I will do it again.”

Dos Santos said before the Ngannou loss that three fights per year is ideal for him. Asked if he plans on taking a bit of time off with the defeat, “Cigano” said he actually wants to get back into the cage as soon as he can.

“Having another fight is kind of a medicine for me to heal this injury that defeat causes on you,” dos Santos said.

Dos Santos, who was riding a three-fight winning streak prior to running into Ngannou, still expects to be at the top of the division. This is simply another bump in the road for him.

“I was having good times building up my chance to fight for the title again,” dos Santos said. “I think it’s gonna take a little bit more time now.”