twitter google

Junior dos Santos: “Having the belt means everything to me.”

Junior dos Santos: “Having the belt means everything to me.”

There was little doubt UFC heavyweight Cain Velasquez had a fair shot at winning the title from then-champion Junior dos Santos when the two faced off last December even though the former divisional king had been knocked out by “Cigano” in their original meeting. However, few predicted the drumming Velasquez ultimately delivered to Dos Santos, out-striking the powerful Brazilian in multiple exchanges and putting him on the mat with ease.

Five months later, the 15-2 Dos Santos is ready to get back in the ring and stake his claim as a contender by beating Mark Hunt on Saturday night at UFC 160.

“I really want my belt back, and I am doing everything I can to make that happen. Having the belt means everything to me. My life now is all about becoming champion again,” said the 28-year old in an interview with the UFC’s website. “I am eager to get back in the cage, to get back to fighting. I was not myself last fight. I want to be back in that Octagon and back to winning.”

Though Dos Santos knows a title-shot should be his if he exits the Octagon with a victory, and his adversary only owns a 9-7 mark in MMA, he’s not making the mistake of looking too far down the road. After all, Hunt is an accomplished kickboxer who has knocked more than his share of high-level opponents.

“I think his wins have been the result of his skill,” said Dos Santos. “He really has a lot of power and he knows how to use it. I don’t see his success as a result of him being underestimated, but as the result of a lot of talent he has and knows how to use.”

Fans can catch Dos Santos-Hunt throw down on PPV in the evening’s co-headlining clash. Dos Santos had won all nine of his fights in the UFC leading up to last year’s stumble including success against Fabricio Werdum, Stefan Struve, Frank Mir, Shane Carwin, and Roy Nelson. Comparably, Hunt is on a four-fight run in the organization and was last seen sending Struve into orbit a few months back.