Junior dos Santos Has An Eye On Deontay Wilder
This weekend, Junior dos Santos has a formidable challenge on his hands, as he faces Francis Ngannou at UFC Minneapolis. And although challenges don’t get much tougher, the former UFC heavyweight champion is confident of scoring a knockout win. As dos Santos told MMA Fighting.
“He has a lot of power. If he connects a good punch on you, you’re out. That’s 100 percent sure. But too much power without the right control is useless. So I’m going to take the best of Ngannou and if he’s not ready to show me his best, he’s going to get knocked out. I’m going to come to knock him out for this fight.
“I believe I have more skills than him. I have better boxing. I know he was talking about even fighting in boxing. This could be a good chance for him to have a boxing fight because I’m not going away from the standup game with him. I’m ready to stand up and bang against him. I hope he’s ready for that, too. Because I’m sure the fans will love it. I can knock anyone out in this division and Ngannou is going to be the next guy. I even have enough boxing to beat boxing champions.”
And the 35 year old wants to prove it. Dos Santos plans to knockout Ngannou, win back the UFC heavyweight title and then challenge one of the boxing heavyweight champions.
“I will do everything to win and then move onto the title shot.
“Back when I was the champion in 2012, I challenged Wladimir Klitschko, he was the champion at that time, and I said I would beat Wladimir Klitschko in a boxing match but of course I’m not a good promoter like Conor McGregor and he got the fight against [Floyd] Mayweather. Klitschko actually replied to me, he said anytime, anywhere, something like that. But then I lost my belt, I lost the fight to Velasquez and I lost the belt so it didn’t make much sense anymore to promote that fight.
“Now my biggest goal is to go back, fight for the title in the UFC, take the belt back and then start promoting a fight against one of the boxing champions.
“I think and I already have this idea in my mind who it could be. It could be Deontay Wilder because everything I see about Deontay, he’s a great champion, he knocks everybody out and he doesn’t run away from a good match. He accepts all the matches. Some of the guys pick fights but this guy is not picking fights. He’s fighting everybody. So I think if we have a good match and we are able to make people want to see that fight and there’s a chance it could happen.
“I’ve been watching him for a long time. I actually admire him. His boxing skills are different but I think that’s the perfect match for me. I can see many, many holes in his game. Can you imagine I’m not worrying about no takedowns, no kicks, no jiu-jitsu, only boxing. That would be paradise for me.”
Dos Santos knows that before he can finally box a boxing world champion, he has to get past Ngannou. And although he’s predicting a knockout win, the Brazilian says he has a lot of respect for his opponent.
“I’m going to knock him out. He’s going to go down. The referee is going to have to stop me. Like I did with the [Derrick] Lewis fight. Everybody was talking about his power and that I would have no chance if I stand up and bang with him. I went there and I knocked him out and I’m going to do this again with this guy Francis Ngannou.
“It’s not disrespect, I respect him. Actually I’m putting a lot of respect on this match because I’m getting very well prepared. There’s no better way to respect an athlete than getting very well prepared to fight him and that’s what I’m doing right now.”
Junior dos Santos vs Francis Ngannou goes down in the main event of UFC Minneapolis, which goes down at the Target Center, on Saturday night. It is the second time the two heavyweights have been scheduled to face off. They were booked to fight in 2017 but dos Santos was flagged by USADA. It was later found that a tainted supplement was the cause of the failed drug test.
Who do you think will walk away with the ‘W’ this weekend in this blockbuster between two of the baddest men on the planet?