Junior Dos Santos admits that his next fight against Ben Rothwell is an important fight on his road to hopefully recapture the UFC Heavyweight Championship he once held in the past. The former UFC Heavyweight Champion appeared as a guest on Monday’s edition of “The MMA Hour” at MMAFighting.com and spoke about his fight with Rothwell, his UFC title aspirations and more.
When asked if his fight against Rothwell will be a “do-or-die” moment in his UFC career, Dos Santos replied, “Yeah, for sure. I think it’s a very important fight for me. Right now, I feel this fight that I have with Ben Rothwell is tougher than my last fight. I know I had a negative result in my last fight but this one now, I think if I win, and I will win this fight now, this win will put me back in the place I was before, the number one or two in the rankings and close to a title fight again. Of course I’m not thinking about title fight now, I just wanna be in the best position I can. It’s my whole life, it’s very important for me.”
Dos Santos also explained why he feels he’s still in title contention in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
“I’m sure I got everything that it takes to be the champion again, so I just need to put everything in the right place, including my mind, my head, because we have to be confident,” he said. “To deal with this negative moment for me has been very tough because since my debut in the UFC in 2008, I just had victories, victories and victories until I became champion of the world. Then I lost to Cain Velasquez, I started to live bad, bad moments, including with injuries, and I’m trying to go out of those moments and start living the winning moments again. That’s why I’m working so hard now.”
Before he can recapture the UFC Heavyweight Championship, JDS must get past Ben Rothwell, who is coming off of an impressive submission victory over Josh Barnett.
“He’s doing great, especially his last fight against Barnett,” JSD said of Rothwell. “Nobody ever submitted Barnett and he did that. That was impressive. He’s coming from a great moment and that’s why it’s so important for me to fight him.”
Junior Dos Santos vs. Ben Rothwell takes place at UFC Fight Night 86 at the Zagreb Arena in Zagreb, Croatia on April 10, 2016.