June 17, 2011
Dos Santos can't count on fists to beat Velasquez, UFC boss says
By JOSE RODRIGUEZ, QMI Agency
Within five months, Junior dos Santos will get his shot at the UFC heavyweight belt.
But if he thinks his right-hand bomb and precision jabs will earn him the title, he’s sadly mistaken, says UFC president Dana White.
“I’m not his coach, I’m just giving my opinion, but he’s going to have to work on a lot more than his boxing to get ready for this fight,” said White.
Dos Santos earned the right to take on champ Cain Velasquez with a dominating three-round beating of Shane Carwin at UFC 131 in Vancouver last weekend.
From the opening bell, the 26-year-old Brazilian — who now sports a 13-1 record — imposed his superior striking game and was able to stuff Carwin’s takedown attempts and impose heavy damage on the American.
White said he was impressed with dos Santos, who he considered the No. 1 contender before his fight with Carwin.
But White added Velasquez has a deeper toolbox and the Brazilian striker can’t rely on his precise, quick hands if he wants to be champ.
“I truly believe, he’s the No. 1 heavyweight in the world,” White said of Velasquez.
“He’s got cardio for days, and the thing about Cain Velasquez is that he’s the Terminator man, this guy keeps coming forward, he does not stop until he finishes you.
“He’s got a great chin, he has great hands, he has great wrestling and unstoppable cardio.
“He’s truly the best.”
Velasquez is undefeated with a 9-0 record — seven of those fights in the UFC.
Despite being a two-time All-American wrestler at Arizona State, eight of his victories have come as the result of TKOs due to punches.
Velasquez has as nasty a stand-up game as dos Santos and he showed that with back-to-back first-round finishes of Brock Lesnar and dos Santos’ teammate, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
White said the dos Santos-Velasquez bout has been on the radar for months, but health problems stopped it from taking place.
“Dos Santos should have got the fight before and then Cain gets hurt,” said White.
“Then he goes through (The Ultimate Fighter show) with Brock and then Brock gets (ill). He was the No. 1 contender before we went into this fight.”
White said dos Santos has never complained about who the UFC put before him and he should be commended for taking on Carwin — a replacement for Lesnar, who had undergone surgery for diverticulitis.
“The thing I respect about Junior is that he will take other opportunities,” said White.
“If you really believe you’re the best and you can beat everybody, then you shouldn’t be worried about fighting anybody.”
Dos Santos said Velasquez will be his toughest opponent to date. With the heavyweight belt on the line, it will be his biggest fight.
And though he admitted to respecting Velasquez’s talent — especially his conditioning — dos Santos said he believes his fists will guide him to the title.