After partying ways from UFC, Junior Dos Santos says he is ready to try out at Bellator and wants to fight Fedor Emelianenko.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos is no longer competing at the biggest promotion and was released after his knockout loss to Ciryl Gane at UFC 256 back in Dec. 2020.
Dos Santos (21-9 MMA, 15-8 UFC) made his promotional debut at UFC 90 in October 2008. He made a statement immediately when he put away Fabricio Werdum with strikes in 80 seconds. The victory kicked off a nine-fight winning streak by “Cigano.”
Included on that run were two title fights: a clinching performance and a title defense. In November 2011, at UFC on FOX 1, Dos Santos finished Cain Velasquez with punches in 64 seconds to become the UFC heavyweight champion. He would follow up that performance with a second-round TKO win over Frank Mir at UFC 146 in May 2012.
Dos Santos lost the belt to Velasquez via unanimous decision in a December 2012 rematch at UFC 155. Following a win over Mark Hunt in May 2013, Dos Santos got his trilogy opportunity but was defeated by Velasquez via TKO at UFC 166 in October 2013.
Over the next seven-plus years, Dos Santos remained a heavyweight contender. From 2018-2019, Dos Santos even established a three-fight winning streak with victories over Blagoi Ivanov, Tai Tuivasa, and Derrick Lewis.
Junior followed up the streak with a four-fight losing skid. Before his UFC departure, he was finished by strikes in four straight fights – losses to Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Ciryl Gane.
Junior Dos Santos wants to go to Bellator
JDS has admitted he wasn’t a fan of the “cold” way UFC president Dana White let him go, but he’s now ready to move on with his career. Although he has admitted he’s open to competing in boxing, it appears JDS isn’t ready to hang up his MMA gloves just yet.
Speaking to AG Fight, dos Santos said that he still has the itch to fight, and one name that he is interested in is the great Emelianenko, who is currently under contract with Bellator. Coincidentally, Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader recently suggested the promotion bring in both JDS and Overeem. If that’s the case, then dos Santos is open to joining Bellator, suggesting fights there against Emelianenko, Overeem, and Bader.
“I’m taking some time to analyze this situation and choose my next step with certainty. I have offered. From boxing, too, which is my passion. Of course that it needs to be interesting for all parties, but I think it would be amazing if it ends up being viable. It would be pretty cool. I’ve always wanted to do that. When I focus solely on boxing, I do pretty well. I love the noble art.”
“I am a big fan of Fedor and it would be something cool to be able to face him. I don’t know what his situation is if he’s still fighting and I know he’s at Bellator. Bader who called us, who would welcome us, would be very interesting. He’s a really tough guy too. A rematch against Alistair Overeem himself, who always finds a way to get away from this issue. It can be at Bellator, wherever it is,” dos Santos said.
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