Junior Dos Santos has made a couple of predictions ahead of his headline fight with UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic next Saturday (May 13) at UFC 211. The first is an obvious one. Dos Santos, a former champion, promises he will rule the division for a second time in a matter of eight days. The second, however, is all the more revealing. He will win back the title, he claims, before the start of round three.
“I’m a very confident guy; I like to be positive,” dos Santos said on today’s UFC 211 media conference call. “In my dreams, the way I see things going in the fight, I can see myself beating him before the end of the second round. I’m very well prepared. I’m living a great moment. I’m stronger, I’m smarter, I have more experience now.
“This is my time. Things are working well for me. I put in good work in the gym and now I’m ready for this fight. I respect Miocic a lot, and the way I’m going to show this respect for him is giving my best during the fight.”
Dos Santos respects Miocic not only because the Ohio-native stands at the summit of the blue ribband heavyweight division. He respects him, also, because he knows what it’s like to spend five rounds in his presence (the two met for the first time back in December 2014, a fight dos Santos won via decision). Familiarity, it would seem, breeds both appreciation and confidence and dos Santos says he’s never been better prepared to reclaim what he feels is rightfully his.
“I’m just 33 years old and I’m fighting against the top guys,” dos Santos said. “Since the beginning, since I arrived here in the UFC in 2008, I was fighting with (Fabricio Werdum), who was supposed to fight for the title. Since then, I’ve been on top of this division. It’s one more step in my career.
“I have no doubts I’m going to become champion. What I miss the most is the feeling of being the baddest man on the planet, the number one in my division, the champion, living as the champion and enjoying it. We all work for that, and when we reach that point, it’s amazing. I’ve been there before, and I want to be there again.”