COMMENTARY | Even though Junior dos Santos was thoroughly dominated by UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez during their last two outings, "Cigano" refuses to admit the fact the latter might simply be the better fighter.
During an interview with Tatame, dos Santos made it clear he still considers himself a serious challenger to Cain's heavyweight strap, and the Brazilian feels he's good enough to beat Velasquez with the right gameplan.
"I still consider myself one of the main challengers to the title," Junior said (translated from Portuguese). "He showed that he had an effective strategy to win the fight, looking to play it safe while not taking many chances to show he was the better fighter, blocking my punches in a way that is typical of wrestlers. He applied pressure, grabbing hold of me and avoiding the fight, making the fight boring, making the audience boo a lot. An effective strategy to win, but he didn't prove he was the better fighter."
Given the fact Velasquez has dominated about 48 of the 49 minutes both men have shared inside the Octagon; it's hard to take Junior's comments seriously. Velasquez didn't just control Junior with his wrestling at UFC 166; he handed out a vicious beating, landing 61 percent of his strikes for a total of 123.
Inferring that Velasquez was fighting for points at UFC 166 is simply ridiculous. Velasquez didn't just dish out enough offense to stop Junior during the fifth round of their third encounter; the fight arguably should have been stopped earlier given just how much punishment dos Santos took.
Obviously, dos Santos is simply trying to set up the stage of a fourth fight against Velasquez, but his comments might end up alienating some of his fans as he's starting to come off as a sore loser.
Thankfully, Junior managed to admit that it would probably be wise learn from his experience at UFC 166 -- instead of making excuses -- and he plans to do that as well.
"The more I fight, the more I learn and the stronger I get, thus making me a better fighter each and every time," dos Santos added. "The biggest lesson I learned from this fight is that besides counting on ability, training, and heart, it is necessary to formulate an effective strategy and follow it, which is not as simple as it seems. Negative results should not bring us down but rather become agents which make us better each and every time."
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