It’s fair to say it’s been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride for FC heavyweight contender Junior Dos Santos over the past few months.
Originally he was set to fight Cain Velasquez for the title before the champion pulled out injured, then out-of-the-blue he suddenly found himself being lined up for a coaching role opposite Brock Lesnar on The Ultimate Fighter, with a fight between the two establishing the next No.1 contender.
Now his plans have once again changed with Lesnar out due to a recurrence of his Diverticulitis illness, and another top contender Shane Carwin now being brought in to fight him in the main event of UFC 131 next month.
Understandably the Brazilian isn’t overjoyed at the latest development in this ongoing saga, but he’s putting a brave face on it.
“I got a little upset about this change, but I’m happy that the UFC got another opponent for me,” Dos Santos told Sherdog.com yesterday after news of Lesnar’s illness broke. “Carwin is an excellent fighter and deserves all my respect.”
The 26 year-old has had little time to reflect on the late-notice change of opponent, but one thing he knows for sure is that his new opponent can pack a punch.
“His boxing skills are great. It’s gonna be a great fight with tough blows from both sides. I would say that it will end by knockout.”
The stats certainly seem to back that up. Both fighters have a record of 12-1, with Dos Santos finishing eight of his opponents by knockout, while Carwin has seven knockout’s on his record.
That makes this a risky fight for Dos Santos, with Carwin undoubtedly having the power to finish a fight with just one punch, but there’s no mistaking the fact that Dos Santos, who’s currently riding a six fight winning streak in the UFC, never had any intentions of turning down the newly arranged bout.
“I want to fight,” Dos Santos said. “I’m in the best moment of my career and I want to make my dream of being a UFC champion come true.”