UFC 160: Junior dos Santos “Focused On My Fight With Mark Hunt”, Not Cain Velasquez
Heavyweight Says He’s Cheering For “Big Foot” Silva
By Kelsey Mowatt
This Saturday’s UFC 160 will feature both Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos in action, and due to their previous encounters, the run up to the card has been dominated by discussion regarding the possibility of a rubber match. It’s pretty clear that most fans and pundits don’t expect either Antonio Silva or Mark Hunt to pull off an upset on May 25th.
Speculation regarding a third tilt between the two has also been fueled by the fact that UFC President Dana White has already announced, that if Velasquez and dos Santos emerge victorious, the fight is a done deal.
“It’s a motivation,” dos Santos on a recent media call to promote UFC 160, while discussing the importance of securing a title shot at the event. “I don’t think about that right now. I’m focused on my fight with Mark Hunt. Mark Hunt is my next opponent and Mark Hunt is the guy I need to be focused on.”
“It will be great to have a title shot again if I beat Mark Hunt,” added dos Santos, who quickly stopped Velasquez in their first encounter at UFC on FOX 1, before he fell by unanimous decision to the champion at UFC 155 in December. “For sure that motivates me but it’s not what I’m thinking about right now.”
While fans and observers are naturally intrigued by the possibility of a third bout between Velasquez and dos Santos, the fight seems like an inevitability, due to the current landscape of the heavyweight division.
Alistair Overeem appeared headed to a showdown with Velasquez, but had his path to a title shot derailed by “Big Foot” Silva. The division’s fastest rising star Daniel Cormier, has already said he’d plans to drop to light-heavyweight, rather than fight his teammate Velasquez. Other top ranked fighters like Roy Nelson and Fabricio Werdum have already been defeated by dos Santos.
“I’m not sure I’m the only one who can beat Cain Velasquez,” said the 28 year-old dos Santos. “I don’t know about that, but I’m sure I can beat Cain Velasquez. I’m one of the people who’s capable of doing that, and I’m sure Cain and I are going to fight many times throughout our careers.”
Dos Santos relayed that he and Cain will fight several more times, due to his contention that they are at “another level.” When asked to elaborate on that comment, the former champ stated:
“Basically what I think sets me and Cain apart is our speed,” the Brazilian heavyweight noted. “Both of us are very fast for the division. Cain also has great cardio and stamina going for him, but, what we have from the rest of the division is our speed.”
“You guys cited Roy Nelson, Fabricio Werdum, and Mark Hunt and the growing talent in the heavyweight division and I think that’s accurate,” dos Santos furthered. “I think the division has never been better and has never been more exciting. I would love to have a rematch against Cain Velasquez…but in this fight I’m going to be rooting for my friend “Big Foot.” I really want him to win. I think he deserves it; I think he’s capable of it, and I’m going to be cheering for him.”
UFC 160 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and the main card will be available via pay-per-view.