If Junior dos Santos defeats Francis Ngannou at UFC Minneapolis this weekend, he hopes it’ll earn him a heavyweight title shot — though he doesn’t intend to wait for that opportunity. If he does re-capture heavyweight gold, dos Santos then plans to challenge one of the top boxing champions in the world — something he attempted to do during his first reign as UFC champion.
“Back when I was the champion in 2012, I challenged Wladimir Klitschko, he was the champion at that time, and I said I would beat Wladimir Klitschko in a boxing match but of course I’m not a good promoter like Conor McGregor and he got the fight against [Floyd] Mayweather,” Junior dos Santos told MMA Fighting this week. “Klitschko actually replied to me, he said anytime, anywhere, something like that. But then I lost my belt, I lost the fight to Velasquez and I lost the belt so it didn’t make much sense anymore to promote that fight.
“Now my biggest goal is to go back, fight for the title in the UFC, take the belt back and then start promoting a fight against one of the boxing champions.”
Specifically, Junior dos Santos would love to test himself against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
“I think and I already have this idea in my mind who it could be. It could be Deontay Wilder because everything I see about Deontay, he’s a great champion, he knocks everybody out and he doesn’t run away from a good match,” dos Santos said. “He accepts all the matches. Some of the guys pick fights but this guy is not picking fights. He’s fighting everybody. So I think if we have a good match and we are able to make people want to see that fight and there’s a chance it could happen.
“I’ve been watching him for a long time. I actually admire him. His boxing skills are different but I think that’s the perfect match for me. I can see many, many holes in his game. Can you imagine I’m not worrying about no takedowns, no kicks, no jiu-jitsu, only boxing. That would be paradise for me.”
Does a future fight between Junior dos Santos and Deontay Wilder interest you?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/27/2019.