Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos responds to reports about his training at Nova Uniao, saying that it is simply “evolution… that is necessary.” Dos Santos also dispelled rumors that he has left Team Nogueira.
It didn’t take long for UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos to respond to reports that he was leaving his long-time team with the Nogueira brothers for rival gym, Nova Uniao.
Dos Santos explained to Brazilian media outlet, Combate, that the change in camp is simply a matter of evolving his game.
“Things were too slow, I wasn’t feeling good in my way of evolving as a professional. Then I decided [to move] to Rio. … it’s clear to all that professor Dedé Pederneiras [of Nova Uniao] is one of the best coaches, there is no question of why he every year competes for the prize of the best in the world… I spoke with my professor Luiz Dórea and said that was the time to test me in Rio. I came, spoke with Dedé and he treated me very well, as all of the team. Today I can train and evolve beside them.”
As far as leaving Team Nogueira, dos Santos says he is still a part of the team, but he is training at Nova Uniao for the evolution of his game.
“I have all the respect for both of the Nogueiras and for all Team Nogueira. I’m team Nogueira. The professor Dedé Pederneiras knows that, everybody knows that. … Today I’m training in Nova Uniao, I think this is evolution. I learned from Minotauro himself to always persuit (sic) evolution, to learn more from the others and that is what I’m doing. I think that for my game is necessary a different kind of training, a different kind of learning and I came here to find that. Of course I’m still Team Nogueira and I’m still going to train there…”
Dos Santos would go on to explain that he needs three months before he’s ready to fight again in the UFC. With Alistair Overeem’s recent victory over Frank Mir, that long-awaited matchup could finally come to fruition in a summer event.
(Translation from Bloody Elbow)
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