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Junior dos Santos won’t take Francis Ngannou’s black belt bait - ‘You’re still getting punched in the face’

Blessed with fast, heavy hands and knockout power, former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos has never had to use his jiu-jitsu black belt inside the Octagon, getting 10 of his 15 wins via knockout, the rest by decision.

In fact, throughout his 13-year career in mixed martial arts (MMA), “Cigano” has only scored one submission victory, way back in 2006 in what was just his second pro fight. But according to Junior’s upcoming opponent, Francis Ngannou, he’s not too convinced “JDS” even has a black belt.

“First of all, I don’t believe that jiu-jitsu black belt. I don’t believe that Dos Santos jiu-jitsu black belt. I don’t know where he’s from, but I don’t believe that. And I don’t mind that at all. But you never know what some fighter is going to come out with,” he said recently.

“I always keep thinking maybe he’ll try some wrestling or a takedown, but it’s not his comfort zone. I don’t know. He might try everything. But the most important is I’m prepared for every little thing.”

Upon catching wind of those comments, Junior says “The Predator” might be trying to play some kind of mind games, perhaps trying to goad him into a ground fight to avoid getting punched in the face. Whatever the case, it didn’t work.

“I honestly don’t know what’s his strategy with saying something like that, but if he’s trying to avoid getting punched in the face, that didn’t work,” dos Santos told MMA Fighting. “And he came to that conclusion based on what? Come on.”

According to Junior’s jiu-jitsu coach, Francis is simply another trash talker trying to get into the Brazilian bomber’s head. And if he really wants to test “Cigano’s” black belt, there’s one way to do it.

“He’s another trash talker looking for attention, trying to impress, or even try to challenge ‘Cigano’,” Carlton told MMA Fighting. “Cigano is going there to fight MMA, not jiu-jitsu. (Ngannou) is just another trash talker. If he wants to see Cigano’s jiu-jitsu, he should register to compete in a jiu-jitsu tournament here — well, I mean, I don’t even know if he’s a black belt.”

Indeed, the two men will collide in the main event of this weekend’s UFC on ESPN 3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And despite this recent back-and-forth regarding black belts, something tells me there won’t be a whole lot of rolling going around.

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