This weekend, in the main event of UFC Minneapolis, former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos will step into the cage with fearsome puncher Francis Ngannou in a perceived number one contender fight.
While dos Santos is determined to reclaim the heavyweight title, he says he does not intend to wait around if a title shot doesn’t materialize promptly after if he beats Ngannou.
“Actually, there is nowhere go go after this. The winner of this fight will for the title,” Dos Santos told MMA Junkie. “But sometimes the UFC, they invent some things, you know? But I don’t really care about that. Of course, my main goal is the belt. I want to become champion again, but I’m not in a rush for that, you know? The most important thing is to keep fighting, keep myself active, having like three fights per year, minimum.”
Junior dos Santos knows full well that title shots can often be a tricky thing to chase down in the UFC. He’s been through this before.
“The first time I fought for title, I was supposed to fight Cain Velasquez,” Dos Santos recounted. “Cain Velasquez got hurt against Brock Lesnar, so I couldn’t fight him, he was out one year. They said, ‘Oh, you can wait that whole one year to fight him for the belt, or you can have another fight.’ I said, ‘No, I need another fight.’ Then Dana White brought me the chance to be coach on ‘TUF,’ then I fight Shane Carwin. So, I’m not going to do waiting for fights, man. I’m 35 years old. The last five years I do fight once per year, now I want to do minimum of three.”
The heavyweight title will next be on the line at UFC 241, when Daniel Cormier defends it against the man he won it from, Stipe Miocic. Do you think Junior dos Santos deserves a shot at the winner if he beats Francis Ngannou in Minneapolis?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/27/2019.