Junior dos Santos: Travis Browne or Josh Barnett UFC fight possibly up next

Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

Junior dos Santos won't have a shortage of potential opponents once he returns to the Octagon; however, "Cigano" has a feeling he'll next fight either Travis Browne or Josh Barnett, the two men who will collide at UFC 168 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 28, 2013.

Junior dos Santos failed to reclaim his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight title on Oct. 19, 2013, losing to current division kingpin Cain Velasquez in the main event of UFC 166, which went down from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

The loss marked the second for "Cigano" under the UFC umbrella, with both defeats coming at the hands of "Brown Pride."

And as the Brazilian striker attempts to work his way back to another title shot, he'll have his work cut out for him in a division filled with plenty of heavy hitters. While dos Santos isn't one to pick his opponents, he recently informed MMA Fighting that he can see himself fighting either Travis Browne or Josh Barnett next.

His words:

"I believe it would (make sense to fight Barnett or Browne next). The heavyweight division is in a great moment right now. We have great fighters, and you never know what's going to happen in a heavyweight fight. One punch can change everything. I don't know what's next for me, and I don't choose opponents. I'll be ready for anyone, but I believe my next opponent can be either Josh Barnett or Travis Bowne."

Barnett and Browne will face off at UFC 168 on Dec. 28, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The winner will inch closer to the top of the 265-pound totem pole, while the loser may find himself in a showdown against dos Santos in early 2014.

Another potential match up for dos Santos could be the much-anticipated contest against Alistair Overeem. The heavy-handed strikers were paired up on two separate occasions, but elevated testosterone levels of "The Reem" and subsequent shoulder injury forced a cancelation of both bouts.

Of course, Overeem has his hands plenty full, too, as he gears up to face former two-time Heavyweight champion Frank Mir at UFC 169 on Feb. 1, 2014.

Time will ultimately tell the tale. In the meantime, let us know who "Cigano" should face in his return to the Octagon in the comments section below.

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