With four consecutive defeats, UFC heavyweight contender Junior dos Santos is going through the worst phase of his professional career, but is confident of turning things around.
The Brazilian’s most recent loss came against prospect Ciryl Gane via second round TKO at UFC 256. Dos Santos is still bitter about it however, as he believes he was badly hurt due to an illegal shot. The fight stirred some controversy as replays suggested that the French heavyweight might have struck the back of ‘Cigano’s’ head with his elbow.
In the post fight press conference, Dana White however said that Gane’s elbow strike was perfectly legal because ‘JDS’ turned his back on him. Speaking with AG Fight (as translated by Bloody Elbow), the former UFC heavyweight champion complained about the UFC president’s comments.
“The UFC never said a word,” dos Santos said. “It’s fine by them. I find that absurd. A clearly illegal shot and the president and a bunch of fighters think that what happened was acceptable. Actually, everyone agrees that it was illegal, but they said I turned around and positioned myself that way. To make a comparison, which I don’t even think I should, that’s like blaming the victim for a crime of theft, murder, or rape.
“I don’t think it was intentional, but that doesn’t make it any less illegal. They said I turned around. I didn’t. I was already standing sideways for about eight seconds and you can see the elbow hit the back of my head from there. I think they’re trying to make this blow over because of the negative point I currently am in my career. I was coming off three losses and he is a guy on the rise, undefeated. Maybe they want to capitalise on that. I don’t know and I don’t care. I just want justice to be made.”
Not Done Yet
With his recent run of defeats, dos Santos understands that he is in a tough spot and it’s affecting him psychologically. But with a few adjustments to his game, the 36 year old believes he can still bounce back.
“Professionally, it’s has been rather heavy moment in my career,” dos Santos shared. “This is a tough sport and you need to be psychologically healthy in order to give your best. I feel great physically, but I feel like my psychological side has been affected. You have to tear down so many walls that it takes a toll. I’ve been dedicating myself to put my mind in the right place. I love to fight, I want to go on, I’m one of the best heavyweights to ever do it. It hasn’t been happening for me in the Octagon lately. I just need to make some adjustments and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
‘Shutting Up’ The Doubters
His recent run of form has prompted many, including Dana, to believe that dos Santos’ best days are behind him, but he begs to differ, and is looking forward to “slap” the doubters in the face.
“This year of 2021, I’ll shut up a lot of mouths,” dos Santos promised. “What gets me are people who say they understand fighting going against me for this moment, like everything is fine. This year will be to shut up this kind of thing. It’s the year to slap them in the face, to silence everyone who doubts me. I’ll turn it all around. It’s the year to make adjustments and make it happen.”
Do you think Junior dos Santos can bounce back, and get his hands on the UFC heavyweight title again?