He lashed out very publicly in the media, claiming that the new champion sustained no damage in his fight with Lesnar and is stalling–which was later disproved with the torn rotator cuff that Velasquez later had subsequent surgery on that would sideline the American Kickboxing Academy product for approximately 6-8 months.
However now, cooler heads have prevailed. He may not exactly have his number contenders spot secured at the moment, however he does have two very interesting opportunities ahead of him. Junior will have the chance to coach the ultra-popular reality series “The Ultimate Fighter”, and will be facing the largest pay-per-view draw in former champ Brock Lesnar later this Summer, both of which have helped satisfy the fan-favorite dos Santos.
“Dana called on New Year’s Day. A few days earlier it was announced that Cain was injured. He said it was up to Junior, does he want to sit and wait for Cain or does he want to fight. Junior said no, he wants to stay busy,” said Ed Soares, dos Santos’ manager who recently spoke with MMAWeekly.com regarding his heavyweight star.
Junior originally claimed top contender status when he deftly defeated season ten winner of the TUF series in Roy Nelson at UFC 117 in August of last year. Considering that Velasquez may not be returning till possibly the fourth-quarter of this year, Soares and the heavyweight slugger thought it was in their best interest to take the opportunity presented to them, which Ed believes will pay off in the long run.
“Our first choice, and he rightfully deserves it, was to fight for the title, but considering that couldn’t happen, I think this is the next best thing that could have happened for his career”, said Soares.
“And in the long run, it might be a better path. To get the exposure that they’re going to get on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and then to fight a guy like Brock Lesnar, who is such a huge draw, I think it’s a pretty good solution to the problem.”
After coaching duties are culminated in June when the all welterweight season comes to a head at the finale show on the 4th at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Lesnar and dos Santos are rumored to be headlining an as-of-yet announced pay-per-view event in Vancouver, Canada. UFC 131 is rumored to be headlined by the two heavyweight dynamos at the Rogers Arena on June 11.
So, MMA peeps, do you think dos Santos made the right decision? While Lesnar is a dangerous opponent, his weakness is Junior’s strongest asset, the obvious punching prowess that the Brazilian holds, having finished five of six opponents in the octagon with strikes. Sound off in the comment section below.