Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos made his first successful title defense at UFC 146, when he decisively defeated Frank Mir with a second round technical knockout, in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., May 26, 2012.
The reverberations of the applause after his victory had barely died down before the drama heated up over who "Cigano" would take on next.
UFC President Dana White virtually guaranteed that Cain Velasquez (who also had a big win at UFC 146) will be getting a rematch and will serve as Dos Santos' next opponent. There have also been rumblings (though they are ever so slight) that Alistair Overeem may get a title shot, as soon as he's ready to come back from his suspension.
One man that will almost definitely not be "JDS'" next adversary is current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones. However, talks surrounding "Bones" moving up to heavyweight have long abounded, based largely on the dominance he has exhibited over his own division.
Dos Santos appeared on Spike TV's "MMA Uncensored Live," where he was questioned about how he thought Jones would fare as a 265-pounder.
Apparently, not too shabby:
"Jon Jones is really good. He's really good. It's different, for sure. If he comes up to the heavyweight division, it's gonna be tough for us, for sure. I really like him, but if he comes up to the heavyweight division, and he gets the chance to fight for the title, we're gonna fight. I will give my best to beat him. It doesn't matter who my opponent is. If it's gonna be him, I don't care."
Check out what else dos Santos had to say about the landscape of the UFC heavyweight division, after the jump:
As has been the case in most of his fights, Dos Santos barely had to work up a sweat in his win over Mir.
Some were surprised by how easy he made it look. "JDS" is aware of how it may have appeared to the casual bystander, but he's convinced that the performance was much more about how well he fought, as opposed to a poor performance from Mir:
"Yeah, that was easier, but it's not about him, you know? I had an excellent camp, in Brazil, and I came very prepared for this fight. I was a little bit nervous at the beginning of the fight, but after two minutes of fighting, I was feeling very good. I just did what I had to do."
Dos Santos has never been one to call people out. He's determined to not change that about himself, and says he's perfectly content to fight whoever his bosses put in front of him. With that said, he'll fight Alistair Overeem if he has to, but he doesn't necessarily believe that "Ubereem" deserves the shot:
"I don't care about who's gonna be my opponent. I never choose my opponents. It just depends on the UFC. But I don't think Overeem deserves to be fighting or the title, at this point, because he failed the drug test. So, I think Cain Velasquez deserves his rematch against me. It just depends on the UFC. If they tell me to fight Overeem or Cain Velasquez or I don't know who, I'll be ready to fight."
One of the supposed holes in dos Santos arsenal is his ground game. Statistics lovers and opposing fighters alike love to quote the disparity in the time he has spent on his feet, versus the time he's spent on the canvas, in his fights.
When asked about it again, Dos Santos essentially mirrored what many have said, in that he may be a "one trick pony," but it's a really good trick:
"They underestimate my jiu-jitsu a little bit, but I'm very confident with my hands, with using my boxing skills, and I will keep doing that. I really believe I can knock anyone out, in my division, and I will keep doing that. One day, if it's gonna be a better strategy for me to take the fight down and use my jiu-jitsu, my ground game, I will do that. You know, I train a lot of jiu-jitsu. I train a lot of wrestling. I can tell you, I'm ready for the fight, and it doesn't matter where the fight goes."
Finally, "JDS" was asked about a man who has received much acclaim, as of late, in Daniel Cormier, the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion. Some have even intimated that "DC" may be the most deserving candidate for the next title shot.
Dos Santos is first in line to disagree:
"I don't know Cormier very much. I think that Cain Velasquez is better than him. Cormier, for sure, is good. He's the Strikeforce champion and all, but I think Cain Velasquez is more dangerous. In this division, I think that Cain Velasquez is the number two, because I am the number one."
At this point, it looks all but settled that dos Santos will take on Velasquez in a rematch for his next title defense. All of that is up to Joe Silva and the bosses at Zuffa.
But what if it were up to you? If you could see Junior dos Santos fight anyone in the UFC, who would it be?