Junior dos Santos exploded onto the scene in the UFC as an unknown commodity back in October of 2008 when he left the highly regarded Fabricio Werdum in a bloody heap, collapsed from a broken nose in the first round at UFC 90.
The heavy handed Brazilian followed up the biggest win up until that point in his career with another knockout in the Octagon, this time over Stefan Struve at UFC 95, and is now poised to throw down in the most pivotal and relevant battle of his life when he faces off with Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic at UFC 103 on September 19.
According to dos Santos in a recent interview with Tatame.com, there’s not a doubt in his mind as to what his intentions will be the next time he steps into the cage; he’s looking to tuck Cro Cop in for the night as early as possible. Business as usual for the 25 year old Brazilian heavyweight kickboxing champion.
“I train a lot of Boxing, I like the striking a lot and I’ll go after another knockout,” confessed dos Santos. “What I want is the knockout. I’m training a lot of ground, a lot of Wrestling. This guy is dangerous standing, but I’m going after the knockout, as always. With the opportunity, I’ll show my ground too”
“Cigano” has no illusions as to the ultimate significance of his next bout. Mirko is recognized all around the world and an impressive win over him can do wonders for your career, just ask Gabriel Gonzaga.
“I’m facing it as a very good opportunity in my life,” said dos Santos. “Cro Cop is a guy that, if you talk about MMA, you know who he is. He’s very dangerous and famous, if not the most dangerous man in the MMA. I’m very happy with the change of opponent, this is an incredible opportunity.”