Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos knows he will have his hands full when he meets contender Curtis Blaydes at UFC Raleigh’s main event. However, that notion does not stop ‘Cigano’ from thinking about his future after the Saturday night fight, which he, of course, expects to win.
In an interview with Combate, Junior said he would like to take on again the men who defeated him in most recently, Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou, who both bested him by way of knockout in the past few years. With that being said, he would not turn down a fresh pairing if it were against fellow former champion Daniel Cormier.
“Honestly, it doesn’t matter (if it’s Cormier or Miocic). They’re both great fighters, I have no bad blood with either of them, nor do have the intention to fight anyone. My goal is to be number one, no matter who is up there, be it Miocic or Cormier. I respect them because of their story and how they have handled their careers. I don’t know much about Cormier, I don’t keep up with him that much, but it would be a great fight against either of them, I’m excited to make something happen.”
“We have lots of great fighters at heavyweight, but if there’s one thing that motivates me, it’s rematching guys that beat me, like Ngannou. I would really like that rematch, it motivates me a lot. A third fight with Stipe also motivates me. I’ve been working hard for those things to happen in a good way for us.”
Junior suffered a nasty staph infection in his leg, which forced him out of his fight against Alexander Volkov back in November 2019. He’s healed up now though, and Cigano claims he expects nothing but great results against Blaydes, pointing out that the battle of styles between himself and Curtis is an interesting one.
“I have the best expectations possible, I’m happy to be competing again. It’s a hard fight like any other, the next one is always the hardest. It’s going to be a clash of styles. I like to go for the knockout, to use my boxing. He likes to take people down, wear out his opponents and take advantage of that.”
In his last outing, Junior dos Santos (21-6) suffered a TKO loss to Ngannou back in June 2019. The loss snapped a three-fight winning streak for the 35-year-old, with wins over Blagoy Ivanov, Tai Tuivasa and most recently, in March 2019, Derrick Lewis.
Now, Cigano is expected to take on Curtis Blaydes at UFC Fight Night 166’s main event, on January 25, in Raleigh, North Carolina.