After two dances in the Octagon with the ex-heavyweight champ, Junior dos Santos is pretty familiar with the skills Stipe Miocic brings to the table.
“Cigano” won a hard-fought five-round verdict over Miocic in the UFC on Fox 13 headliner in December 2014, but was stopped by the Ohio-based firefighter in the opening stanza in a title bout at UFC 211.
Miocic had the most successful reign of any heavyweight champion in UFC history, but it came to an end at the hands of Daniel Cormier this past Saturday in Las Vegas at UFC 226. The reigning light heavyweight champion initiated the clinch with Miocic and then floored his opponent with a right hook on the break. A flurry of hammerfists on the ground clinched the victory for “DC.”
According to dos Santos, the biggest mistake Miocic made was repeatedly wandering into Cormier’s comfort zone.
“That was a big surprise for me, you know. I thought Daniel Cormier could win that fight, but not the way he won — knocking Stipe out,” dos Santos said on UFC Tonight. “He did great of course, but I think Miocic accepted the fight in a close distance, accepting a grappling game with Cormier, which was only chance Cormier had to win that fight. So congratulations for the new champion, and that’s it.”
Dos Santos will return to action for the first time since his loss to Miocic, when he faces Blagoy Ivanov in the UFC Fight Night 133 headliner at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho, on Saturday night. While the Brazilian might not get a shot at the belt while Cormier is still around, his vision is to return to the top of the heavyweight division.
“My biggest goal is to become the champion of the world again,” dos Santos said. “I’ll do everything that I have to do to get there.”