Junior Dos Santos talks to UFC.com about his upcoming match with Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC On Versus this month as well as his previous bouts inside the Octagon:
“[Rogerio 'Minotouro'] He's my master and he taught me everything. If I face and beat great athletes nowadays, this is because Rodrigo supported me. … I'd probably not have become a fighter or my career would be on a different course than it is today if I didn't have Rodrigo and Rogerio helping me.”
vs. Fabricio Werdum – When Bruce Buffer said my name and I do my pre-fight ritual of pointing to the ground, Werdum came in my direction, punching his hand, and said, 'You gonna take a beatdown.' Nobody saw it. He did that and I said, 'So come on,' and walked back to my corner furious, but with a smile on my face. And I felt that when the approach is this way I fight better.”
vs. Stefan Struve – He extended his hand, I didn't tap it. (laughs) Later we'll chat, now is time to trade punches. He's a nice guy, dangerous on the ground, however I wasn't not going to be his friend inside the Octagon (laughs). Let's fight and become friends only after the fight.
vs. Mirko Cro Cop – Fabio Maldonado told me, 'Cigano, when you look into the eyes of your opponent, he'll not reach you. You're fast, strong, let him know that you're better.' I believed in what he said and I go to knock guys out in all my fights; maybe I can't always do it, but it's my goal.”
vs. Gilbert Yvel – “People called me arrogant during that fight because I smiled when he landed that high kick. But that was because we trained to defend exactly that combo, a straight and a high kick. I recorded it and he tried it during the fight, so I smiled because his game was just the way we knew it would be, and I asked for more.”
“I think my ground is good if you want to know,” said dos Santos. “I train with great guys in the USA too and I'm always learning. This fight is going to be a test for me; I have a chance to surprise people because I believe [Gabriel Gonzaga] Napao will try to take me down. There are positions that I developed in secret and if I've the chance I won't waste them.”