(Junior "The Dream Crusher" Dos Santos)
According to a report by Guilherme Cruz on Tatame.com, fast-rising UFC heavyweight contender Junior Dos Santos made a request to UFC brass to face Cain Velasquez in his next fight, and was flatly denied.
Feeling that a bout between himself and his American championship contender counterpart would help to clarify which of the pair is first in line at a shot at the winner of the July tilt between Shane Carwin and current heavyweight kingpin Brock Lesnar, Cigano figured the UFC would agree with his view that the fight made sense and would ensure they both stayed busy in the interim.
Apparently the UFC didn’t agree, and now both fighters sit in holding pattens waiting for the promotion to sort out their somewhat blurry heavyweight title picture, unsure when they will fight again.
*WARNING* Poorly translated Portugese below.
“They don’t want to set a fight with Velasquez, for now it’s not [of] interest for them. I was hoping for this fight because it makes total sense, but they don’t want it now… let’s wait and see," said Cigano, with no clue of the date of his comeback on UFC. "There are a lot of names I could confront, but I really don’t have a clue of who will it be my next opponent."
Dos Santos says that one name that has been mentioned is that of last season’s winner of The Ultimate Fighter, former IFL heavyweight champ Roy Nelson — an opponent he would relish the opportunity to square off against.
“He has shown he’s a very embattled fighter, is in a good moment on UFC and actually said he wanted to fight me… If it’s him or not, I don’t care.. I’ll be prepared to fight with whoever my opponent is and make it a good fight”, said, dreaming with the chance of winning. “I’m in a very good position and in a very special time on my career and, if that’s what God wants, I’ll have this opportunity to fight for the belt."
It makes sense that the UFC doesn’t want to destroy one of their top two heavyweight contenders before he has a chance to vie for the title, but protecting them by letting them sit inactive for what could potentially be a November title bout would do more harm than good.
The conundrum is, if you give them a fight in the meantime to ensure they both remain active, who do you have them fight?
If you give either of them a dark horse like Nelson, who could very well pull off an upset victory, where does that leave them in the grand scheme of things if they lose?