Like most fighters who have achieved a similar level of greatness, 14-1 UFC champion Junior dos Santos isn’t out to prove he’s second best. After a storied run through the division the heavy-handed Brazilian has established himself as the sport’s top heavyweight with one possible exception – Alistair Overeem. Fortunately for “Cigano”, Overeem also happens to be his next opponent, giving Dos Santos a unique opportunity to separate himself from the pack to enter territory currently reserved for the likes of Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre.
Dos Santos understands how important beating Overeem would be for his career. However, that doesn’t mean he’ll approach him any differently than he would any other opponent including a willingness to exchange despite the Dutchman’s powerful, polished stand-up.
“I think it’s the ultimate test for my striking,” said Dos Santos in an interview with Sherdog. “He was a K-1 champion, which is the greatest striking event in the world. He’s a very strong guy, good, but I trust in myself a lot and I try for the knockout in all of my fights. Regardless of him being a striker or not, I’m going for the knockout.”
JDS has notched ten of his fourteen total wins by way of TKO. Comparably, Overeem has fifteen in 36 victories though owns nineteen submission stoppages as well.
“Jiu-jitsu can be Plan B,” continued Dos Santos of his stylistic approach to Overeem. “I’m an MMA fighter, training in everything. I’m well prepared to fight, whether standing or on the ground, and if I find it necessary to take it to the ground, it will happen.”
The 27-year old concluded the conversation on his May 26 clash explaining he was feeling healthy and going at it 100% in the gym, indicating he has recovered from minor knee surgery.
Dos Santos-Overeem will serve as the main event at UFC 146 with the remainder of the PPV card featuring an all-heavyweight lineup with Frank Mir-Cain Velasquez, Antonio Silva-Roy Nelson, Stefan Struve-Mark Hunt, and Gabriel Gonzaga-Shane Del Rosario.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC