Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos would like to compete on the October card planned for Brazil. His coaches, though, don’t think he’ll be ready.
Instead, “Cigano” is gearing up for a return to action in November – and is hopeful he gets to test his skills against Stipe Miocic. The two were expected to meet in May, but a hand injury forced dos Santos out of the main event.
“My coaches think it’s too soon to be back because I’m not even training hard yet and I need to re-adapt myself to training before starting a camp,” said dos Santos, in an interview with MMAFighting.com. “October would be too early for me.”
Dos Santos (16-3) is just 1-2 in his last three, but both losses came to UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. Miocic (12-1) has won three straight, including a first round finish of Fabio Maldonado, who stepped in on short notice to replace dos Santos.
“Miocic is doing a good job, coming off great wins,” he said. “I was focused on fighting him before, trained for him, so I think it would be a good fight for me. It would be a beautiful fight for the fans, as well.”
Dos Santos explained his injury, saying that he recovered from the broken hand, but now has a nagging knee issue holding him back. That injury, though, does not require surgery – just rehab.
“It was a small injury,” dos Santos said. “When I had to stop training because of my broken hand, I felt a pain in my knee. I did all the exams and it showed nothing. (The doctor) cleared me to slowly return to training now to see how I’m going to feel.
“I will schedule my next fight when I feel 100-percent ready.”