Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos will attempt to regain his divisional footing this Saturday (July 14, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 133 live on FOX Sports 1 from inside CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho, when he takes on Octagon newcomer and former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) heavyweight king Blagoy Ivanov.
Dos Santos, 34, is doing everything in his power to get back into title consideration following a TKO loss at UFC 211 to then champion Stipe Miocic. The Brazilian veteran hasn’t lost back-to-back fights in his entire career, but he also hasn’t won back-to-back fights since 2011-2012.
That’s an extremely long time, especially considering JDS won his first nine Octagon appearances, but it isn’t too late for the former champion to reestablish himself in a new-look division.
“When you become the champion, you become a target,” dos Santos said in an interview with MMAjunkie earlier this week. “Now, the new target for the heavyweight division is Daniel Cormier. Everybody, of course, wants to fight him, including me. And eventually, at some point, it’s going to happen. But the division is living a good moment. I want to do this third fight with Miocic, too.”
Of course, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier just defeated UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 to become the second fighter all time to hold two UFC belts at the same time. With “DC” in the driver’s seat, contenders like “Cigano” will be hot on his tail.
But considering JDS has split two previous meetings with now former titleholder Miocic, the Brazilian is more than willing to partake in the trilogy fight.
“That could be a good fight for one of these shows,” dos Santos said. “There are many good fights. The heavyweight division is living a good moment and we can give the fans a lot of excitement.”
Despite his recent inability to find prolonged success inside of the Octagon, JDS remains one of the bigger players at the heavyweight level. The fact that dos Santos is happy with where he is in his career should make it easier for the Brazilian to reemerge as an elite title threat.
“I love this sport. I love who I am,” he said. “To be here, to be Junior dos Santos, for me – I can’t see myself doing anything else right now. I’m 34 years old, young.”
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 133 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” undercard bout at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by the FOX Sports 1 “Prelims” undercard bouts at 8 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 10 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.