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Junior dos Santos releases statement on loss to Francis Ngannou at UFC Minneapolis

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Minneapolis-Ngannou vs Dos Santos
Former champion Junior dos Santos (pictured) lost to Francis Ngannou in Minneapolis.
David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Francis Ngannou scored another fast — and devastating — knockout over a former UFC heavyweight champion in 2019, stopping Junior dos Santos in the main event of UFC Minneapolis on Saturday.

Hours after the fastest defeat of his MMA career, “Cigano” released a statement on social media congratulating his opponent and regretting how a “millisecond mistake” cost him the bout.

“Guys, first of all I want to thank everybody for your support. I’m sorry the show was short this time, and without a great result for us. I’ve been on top of this sport and weight class for over a decade, and I plan to be here for a long time still. I love fighting, I love my life, and I’m really grateful for every opportunity I have to grow and evolve.

“The climb is tough and long, as you all know and sometimes — like tonight — months of perfect preparation and strategy are overshadowed by a millisecond mistake. There isn’t much to say now other than to congratulate Francis Ngannou for capitalizing so effectively on my mistake.”

Dos Santos (21-6), who was hoping to earn another shot at the heavyweight championship with a win in Minnesota, now has to “climb” again after having his three-fight winning streak snapped by Ngannou.

Ngannou (14-3), who finished Cain Velasquez in just 26 seconds in February, wants to be the next in line for the winner of Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic for the UFC title. The rematch between Cormier and Miocic is slated for Aug. 17 in Anaheim, California.