By Guilherme Cruz of Tatame.com
After defeating three tough fighters in the UFC, Junior “Cigano” dos Santos doesn’t want to rest in the end of the year and he is going over Gilbert Yvel, on January 2, by UFC 108. “Christmas was simple this time“, tells the fighter, laughing, in interview to TATAME. On the chat, the heavyweight talked about the expectations to the combat and made his bets to the fight between Frank Mir and Shane Carwin, set for the interim heavyweight title.
How’s the preparation to the fight?
Very tough. I made the first part of the training with Rogério (Minotouro Nogueira) to his fight and then I came here to Bahia’s heat, is very hot here (laugh). We trained here with Champions Team and Nordeste Jiu-Jitsu, that supported me this time.
What’s the expectation to your fourth fight on UFC?
It’s a tough fight, but I’m very focused on Gilbert Yvel, he’s a very tough guy. I’ve been watching his fights a lot and I want to understand what he does best and prepare myself fort hat. I’m well prepared. Saturday was my last sparring and I’m ready to give a show and, if it’s God’s will, to win.
Do you think that the whole fight will be standing?
I think it’ll be standing. As I always say, I like to fight standing, develop my boxing. I think I’m good standing. We don’t know how the fight is gonna be, but I’m prepared to everything. I’ve trained a lot the takedowns, I can surprise in all the areas.
You were set to face Gabriel Gonzaga, but he got hurt and they changed your opponent to Yvel, who hasn’t a contract with UFC. Were you surprised?
I was a little surprised, I was training to fight with Napão, but, when he had the problem, UFC had the heavyweights sick or with fights set. UFC wanted to hire him, so they put him against me. It surprised me, but I never mind about the opponent, but with what I can do, to be worried about my development. As in every fight, I’ll give my best.
With Brock Lesnar away for a while, UFC must create the interim title on a fight between Frank Mir and Shane Carwin. Do you think it’s fair?
I think it isn’t fair, I think Rodrigo was closer to fight for the belt and that he should dispute, but as MMA don’t follow a ranking we have to move on according to UFC’s decisions.
How do you think this fight is gonna be?
It’s gonna be good, two contenders, tops on category, and it’s always good for we to analyze and know the opponents better. It’s gonna be a good fight.
Do you have any bets?
It’s hard… I think it’s gonna bet he same with Frank Mir against (Cheick) Kongo. If the fights stands up, Carwin has more chances. I don’t have a favorite.