Back in his heyday as the UFC heavyweight champion, Junior Dos Santos built himself a reputation as a knockout artist. In his Octagon run alone, “Cigano” holds TKO/KO finishes over ex-champions like Gabriel Gonzaga, Frank Mir, and Cain Velasquez, as well as other respected names like Mirko Cro Cop and Derrick Lewis, to name a few.
Along the way, Dos Santos picked up three Knockout of the Night bonuses when it was still a thing. But according to him, there was one instance where he was supposed to win both KO of the night and Fight of the Night, only to be “deprived” by another combat sports heavyweight legend.
“When I fought Mark Hunt (in 2013) I had two bonuses of the Night – Best Fight of the Night, and Best Knockout of the Night,” Dos Santos recalled in an exclusive interview with SunSport.
“And Mike Tyson was there watching the fight and at the press conference after the fights, Dana White said, ‘Junior Dos Santos has won two bonuses of the night. Best Fight of the Night, and Best Knockout of the Night.’
“But I was asking Mike Tyson and he told me to give the Knockout of the Night to somebody else!”
Dos Santos continued…
“He said, ‘Why give two bonuses to just one guy?’ So he took away from me $50,000. So he owes me $50,000! He deprived me of that.
“But it was normal back then to have two bonuses on the night and sometimes some guys got three!”
Dos Santos also took aim at the UFC for supposedly letting Tyson call the shots.
“The fight was really good I went three rounds with Mark Hunt and in the end I knocked him out with a spinning back kick,” he said.
“They should have given me the two bonuses. For me it was a lot, but for the UFC maybe not.
“It showed a lot the personality of Dana White because the UFC is so big and if Mike Tyson says someone else should get the Knock Out of the Night, then the UFC should have given an extra bonus to someone else but still should have given me mine. They just took it away from me.”
The 37-year-old Dos Santos went on to lose his last four fights, which led to his UFC release in March. He recently signed with a boxing management company and now wants fights against Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, and Tyson Fury.