“With a guy that size, you can’t collide with him. I was moving a lot, using my footwork and my speed; my boxing skills. I did everything I could to avoid his power. I [kept] myself calm and just doing my job, moving a lot, avoiding his punches and his attacks, and throwing some hard jabs against him… I don’t know whats next, that’s up to the UFC, but I needed this to feel the passion inside my heart again. I gave my all to win the fight. I found that passion tonight and now anything is possible. Write it down, I’m gonna be champion again.”
-During the UFC Fight Night 86 post-show on Fox Sports 1, Junior dos Santos talks about his gameplan against Ben Rothwell and why he’s got it in him to recapture the UFC Heavyweight Title (transcribed by MMAWeekly.com).
Penick’s Analysis: In the heavyweight division, it seems fighters aren’t entirely out of the picture until they’re, well, entirely out of the picture. It takes a lot more than a loss or two to make that happen, especially given how much parity and unpredictability there seems to be at the top end. Dos Santos can get himself back into contention with another win or two, and if he performs as well as he did against Rothwell in those fights, he may very well get his shot. Can he regain that title? It remains doubtful given some of the more recent fights he’s had, but that win over Rothwell was a major step forward.
[Junior dos Santos art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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