Fresh off his title-winning performance over previously undefeated champ Cain Velasquez, newly crowned divisional king Junior dos Santos is already looking forward to his initial defense while waiting for either Brock Lesnar or Alistair Overeem to emerge as a contender at UFC 141.
Though sidelined for a month due to knee surgery, “Cigano” expects to be back healthy in early 2012 and has his fingers crossed the UFC may be considering another trip back to Brazil after a January stop for UFC 142.
“I really want to fight in Brazil,” said the 14-1 Dos Santos in a conversation with Tatame. “There’ll be many events in Brazil, like Dana (White) said himself. So I want my first title defense to be in Brazil.”
When asked to reflect on his fulfillment of a lifelong dream by obtaining status as the world’s top heavyweight, along with the financial stability involved, Dos Santos remained humble as might be expected.
“For this fight, everything that happened to me before this fight, I was scared of what my reaction would be when I was up there and thank God everything worked out just fine…it was incredible. When I punched him, I saw him going down and I could tell it was easy for me to knock him out and, even before the referee stopped the contest, I could feel that thrill.”
“I can’t really explain the way I feel,” the 27-year old continued. “I’m really happy. It’s an incredible feeling. It’s a relief mixed with euphoria. It involved many things. Thank God I have great people besides me and it’s something we all deserved: me, my family, and all Brazilians who cheered for me.”
Clearly Dos Santos’ desire to put his belt on the line in his homeland isn’t a matter of basking in the adulation of his countrymen but rather giving something back to the nation he so proudly represents.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: I’m not even sure the most imaginative person can envision how amazing the environment would be in Brazil if JDS defended his strap against Lesnar (as master salesman when it comes to promoting fights). However, I don’t see the UFC heading back to Brazil until mid-2012 at the earliest and on that front I’d prefer to see Dos Santos stay active rather than sit and wait.