I guess Junior dos Santos was inspired by Artem Lobov’s decision win over Paulie Malignaggi at the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) event last weekend in Tampa, because the Brazilian is now feeling confident he can hang in the “sweet science.”
In fact, “Cigano” is already making plans to fight WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. That would first require him to knockout Francis Ngannou this weekend on ESPN and then capture the UFC 265-pound title later this year, but those are nothing more than minor details.
“I can knock anyone out in this division and Ngannou is going to be the next guy,” Dos Santos told MMA Fighting. “I even have enough boxing to beat boxing champions.”
“It could be Deontay Wilder because everything I see about Deontay, he’s a great champion, he knocks everybody out and he doesn’t run away from a good match,” he said. “I can see many, many holes in his game. Can you imagine I’m not worrying about no takedowns, no kicks, no jiu-jitsu, only boxing? That would be paradise for me.”
While Dos Santos (21-5) may be dreaming about a career as a pugilist, the 35 year-old slugger suffered a couple of high-profile defeats against some of the division’s better strikers, including Stipe Micoc and Alistair Overeem.
But stopping Ngannou would be a great way to convince fight fans he’s made enough improvements to stand-and-trade with anyone in the world.
“Now my biggest goal is to go back, fight for the title in the UFC, take the belt back and then start promoting a fight against one of the boxing champions,” Dos Santos said.
The journey begins in the UFC on ESPN 3 main event this Sat. night (June 29, 2019) inside Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. To see the complete “Ngannou vs. Dos Santos” fight card and line up click here.