Question: How do you convince a relatively soft-spoken Brazilian that barely speaks a lick of English to do a reality television show, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 13, in which he will have to at least learn the basics of the language so as to communicate with his team?
Answer: You tell him the other coach is none other than Brock Lesnar and he'll be fighting him, on pay-per-view (PPV), at the conclusion of the show. Then you watch the dollar signs light up in his eyes.
That's because Lesnar has the Hulk Hogan effect in the UFC -- if you're on the same card, and especially if you're fighting him, you're in for a nice little piece of that PPV pie.
But that's not all you get. No, you're also going to get exposure on a level you've likely never seen before, which, whether anyone likes it or not, is vital to the success of any fighter in the game today.
And that, finally, brings us to Junior dos Santos, the Brazilian with the dollar signs in his eyes and fame awaiting him on June 11, 2011, at UFC 131 in Vancouver, where he takes on the behemoth Lesnar. That will come at the conclusion of 10 weeks of TUF airing on Spike TV, which is sure to break records for viewership.
And while "Cigano" was upset about losing out on the title shot he was promised, at least for now, he believes it was well worth the rub he will receive for locking horns with the Brockness Monster.
"You know, I was very upset when I found out Cain Velasquez was injured and I wouldn't be able to fight him for the title but at the same time I got very happy when I heard that news that I'd be coaching alongside Brock on TUF," stated dos Santos at a recent conference call. "Brock is a guy that is bringing a lot of fans into MMA, he's a guy that's very well known in the U.S. and I'm a guy who's starting to come up right now and this is a great opportunity for all my fans to be able to see me."
A great opportunity, indeed. Because for all his success inside the Octagon, including six consecutive victories, four of which came by knockout, "JDS" still has yet to headline an event in the UFC.
That all changes, in the biggest way imaginable, on June 11 against Brock Lesnar.
And to sweeten the pot, a victory would mean once again gaining the right to challenge Cain Velasquez for the heavyweight title.
The stakes are high for Junior heading into the first main event UFC fight of his career. The whole world will be watching his every move on Spike TV before they witness his attempt at slaying the beast that is Brock Lesnar, live on pay-per-view.
Can he do it?