Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos is set to collide with fellow 265-pound knockout artist Jairzinho Rozenstruik at the upcoming UFC 252 pay-per-view (PPV) event, scheduled for Sat., Aug. 15, 2020 inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Consider that Phase 1 of the Brazilian’s heavyweight comeback.
“I expect a knockout,” Dos Santos told MMA Junkie. “Somebody’s going down with a knockout, and I really believe this guy will be him. Of course the goal is the belt, and I don’t think it’s gonna take very much long for me to be fighting for the title. This victory with another one or one or two more, I’ll be fighting for the title again.”
It may not be as crazy at it sounds.
Despite back-to-back knockout losses against Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou, Dos Santos (21-7) is still ranked No. 5 in the division, with previous wins over champion Stipe Miocic and No. 4-ranked Derrick Lewis.
In addition, No. 1-ranked Daniel Cormier will be retiring after UFC 252, so that’s one less hurdle for Dos Santos to clear. Unless, of course, he goes to sleep against Rozenstruik this weekend in “Sin City,” which is likely to put the 36 year-old “Cigano” out of the title picture for good.