Junior dos Santos is looking to get back into the win column on the main card of UFC 252.
The former UFC heavyweight champion has suffered back-to-back knockout losses to Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes. Entering this fight against Jairzinho Rozenstruik, it is a little different given they both train at American Top Team. But, for the former heavyweight champion, he doesn’t believe it will impact the fight.
“Actually, you know he is training here but not for long. I believe he’s been here for his last two fights. I’ve never trained with him so that is all good for now,” dos Santos said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I haven’t even seen Jairzinho and we train at the same gym. Actually I saw him once and said hi but not much other than that. He is number six, and I’m number five and this fight makes sense right now. I don’t really want to fight a teammate but it is the business. We are not against each other. We are professionals and we have to fight, so I think it will be a great fight.”
Although dos Santos is the betting underdog against Rozenstruik he isn’t paying any attention to that. He believes he has the striking and grappling advantage and knows his speed will be the difference-maker in this fight.
But, a massive difference for Junior dos Santos is this will be his first scheduled three-round fight since 2013. So, with him only having to prepare for three rounds, he expects to finish Rozenstruik.
“I don’t think it will go the distance. We are both strikers with a lot of knockout power, we are both knockout artists,” dos Santos explained. “It will be a very interesting fight for the fans and I see a beautiful fight. My advantage I believe is my speed and footwork. I move a lot and I have a lot of speed.”
For Junior dos Santos, he says this fight is crucial to win. He still has the goal of becoming the UFC heavyweight champion again.
In order to do that, he knows he must beat Rozenstruik to work his way back up the rankings.
“Every fight is important to win especially this one, I want to go back to my winning streak. Just stay there for a long time and get the belt again and defend it,” Junior dos Santos said. “That is my main goal right now to become the champion again. I have everything it takes and I believe I will become the champion again, it is just a matter of time.
“This is a good fight. Every fight for me is good,” he continued. “I want to keep fighting, I want to fight the best and right now I believe I am fighting one of the best. I want to go back to my winning streak and very soon fight for the title again.”
If he does get his hand raised on Saturday night, dos Santos believes he could be fighting for UFC gold in 2021.
“The division is kind of stopped right now because of the trilogy. Ngannou is probably be fighting for the title next and I’ll do one or two more fights after this one and I’ll probably fight for the title again,” he said.
Junior dos Santos is also fighting on the same card as the heavyweight trilogy bout between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. But, the former champ says that trilogy has nothing on his and Cain Velasquez.
“Me and Cain’s was much better [laughs]. We are more excited about it and we were more fun as well. They are kind of boring [laughs],” he concluded.
Do you think Junior dos Santos will beat Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 252?