Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos wants to once again wear UFC gold and believes that it is still within reach. Currently ranked #7 in the world, Junior dos Santos is very aware of the opportunity that awaits him when he headlines UFC Wichita on March 9th:
“Derrick Lewis just fought for the belt, he’s No. 2 in that ranking the UFC does, so it’s a great fight,” dos Santos told MMA Fighting. “It’s the type of challenge I was hoping for, it motivates us, so I’m happy. We’ll have a short camp this time, only two months, but it will be enough.”
Taking Derrick Lewis’ spot of #2 is a big incentive to dos Santos, but that is not his ultimate goal. Ultimately, dos Santos would love to return to a place he has already climbed: the top of the mountain. And he would love to earn that spot by knocking off the man currently perched atop the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings before that man calls it a career:
“I haven’t thought too much about that, but I think so, yes,” dos Santos said of fighting Cormier next should he defeat Lewis. “Derrick Lewis is ranked No. 2, so I think I can definitely fight for the belt after this win. What matters the most is getting good victories. I’m already qualified to fight for the belt, but we obviously need a winning streak to get there.”
“People want to see the best fighting for the title, and I think I’ll be on my way to the belt with this win,” dos Santos said. “That makes me happy because I know Cormier is planning on retiring soon and one of my goals would be fighting him before he retires. There are several important fights I still want to do, but since he’s retiring soon, it would be a challenge that would both motivate and excite me.”
Do you believe Junior dos Santos would have a legitimate case for a title fight against Daniel Cormier with a victory Derrick Lewis?