clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Junior dos Santos sees 'a little advantage' for Stipe Miocic against Fabricio Werdum

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Fabricio Werdum will defend his UFC heavyweight title against Stipe Miocic next month. Junior dos Santos knows each man very well -- he's beaten them both.

Dos Santos was asked about the championship encounter Sunday after his unanimous decision win over Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 86 in Croatia. The Brazilian slugger said he believes Miocic and not the champion has an edge coming in.

"I see a little advantage for Miocic," dos Santos said in the post-fight press conference. "Werdum doesn't take anybody down. He just submits people and people take him down. And talking about their stand-up skills, Miocic is better. So I see a little advantage for Miocic."

Dos Santos (18-4), a former heavyweight champion himself, fought Miocic most recently. He defeated Miocic by unanimous decision at UFC on FOX 13 in December 2014, though it was a close fight. Dos Santos has not fought Werdum since knocking him out in 2008.

After that, Werdum left the UFC for Strikeforce and turned his career around. Werdum only has one loss since then, to Alistair Overeem, and won the belt from Cain Velasquez by third-round submission at UFC 188 in June 2015. Werdum has won nine of his last 10 fights overall.

Miocic is coming off two straight wins since falling to dos Santos, including a 54-second knockout of Andrei Arlovski at UFC 195 in January.

Dos Santos, 32, has victories over both men, so he can't be too far from a title shot, even though coming into Sunday he had just gotten knocked out by Overeem in December. "Cigano," who held the belt in 2011 and 2012, said he is not thinking about a title shot at all and doesn't know when it will come.

"I'm not sure, but I don't really care about that now," he said. "I just want to fight. I was thinking about that too much early in the days. Now, I just want to fight. I know it's gonna happen at some point. Whatever UFC wants to do or any opponent they want to give me, I'll be ready for that."

Dos Santos will surely be keeping a keen eye on the fight between Werdum and Miocic. He said he might even be ready to step in if one of them falls out with an injury before UFC 198 on May 14 in Brazil. Though he's leaning toward Miocic, dos Santos acknowledges that Werdum could very well retain the title as well.

"But of course, a fight is a fight," dos Santos said. "You never know. Werdum is living a great moment. Miocic is living a great moment. So, wow. It's gonna be good."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting