Everyone has been so busy talking about the return of Conor McGregor, which happened at UFC 246 last weekend in Las Vegas, that this Saturday’s UFC Raleigh card has been missing out on some of the usual pre-fight hype.
Former UFC heavyweight champion, Junior dos Santos, will return to the Octagon to battle top contender, Curtis Blaydes, in the UFC Fight Night 166 main event, airing exclusively on ESPN+ from inside PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Dos Santos is coming off a loss to fellow heavyweight power-puncher, Francis Ngannou, who also holds a pair of wins over Blaydes. That’s why “Cigano” knows the road to the division title ends with a “Predator” rematch at some point in the very near future.
“Sometimes, you know, it’s not your day – things don’t happen the way you want,” Dos Santos told MMA Junkie. “And what? Are you going to cry for that? C’mon. Keep moving forward – that’s what I’m doing. I was coming from two, three great victories and supposed to fight for the title again, and then I got someone who is coming from a good moment, too, with a lot of power. Francis Ngannou has a lot of power. He got the victory that night – he was better than me that night. But I am here to have that rematch and prove that I am better than him.”
Dos Santos (21-6) has been out of action since last June after battling a near-fatal leg infection. Prior to getting thumped by Ngannou, “Cigano” racked up three straight wins and was perhaps one victory away from a heavyweight title fight.
That seems to be the position Blaydes (12-2) is currently in after scoring consecutive wins of his own. “Razor” was last seen beating the brakes off Shamil Abdurakhimov at UFC 242 and his only losses at heavyweight have come against Ngannou.
To see the rest of the UFC Raleigh fight card and line up click here.