Junior dos Santos’ shape has people wondering how “Cigano” will look in his next UFC bout.
After a ketogenic diet slimmed the former heavyweight champion, he’s not opposed to the idea of changing weight classes.
What started the whole process was quarantine. Like many people around the world, Dos Santos noticed the number on the scale ticking up as the weeks passed. Unable to train at American Top Team, he was seven pounds heavier than usual. So he reached out to his doctor Marcia Bogea and nutritionist Marcelo Guedes for advice, and they recommended 15 days of the low-carb, high-fat diet.
Twelve days into the regimen, Dos Santos clocked in a 245.8 pounds. He went on social media to share the results, and suddenly, people were wondering if the UFC had a new light heavyweight on its hands.
The ex-champ’s original plan was to go down to 238 pounds, lighter than his weight when he knocked out Cain Velasquez to become the UFC heavyweight king in 2011.
“(Thursday) is the last day, but I asked them if we can continue doing it because I’m feeling very good,” dos Santos told MMA Fighting. “I would normally be around 247 since I wasn’t training harder, but I was getting heavier.”
Dos Santos doesn’t have a fight booked at the moment and said he’s currently not in negotiations with the UFC. “Cigano” hasn’t entered the octagon since Jan. 25, when he lost to Curtis Blaydes via second-round knockout.
“My goal is to stay light so I can get back to training right away, when I have a fight booked,” he said. “If I can stay around 238 and 242, that’s important for me, because I move a lot. I’ll benefit from my speed, one of my main characteristics. I will be faster.”
In fact, Dos Santos’ immediate success in the first weight-loss diet of his professional career could lead to a potential drop to light heavyweight. He said “nothing is impossible in our lives,” but added making 205 pounds “would be really, really, really hard to happen.”
And yet, for the Brazilian star, “this experience I’m living now is also a kind of test.”
“My main curiosity of one day making 205 is not about how I would feel at that weight, but to be able to face the man that is the greatest of the moment, Jon Jones,” he said. “Who wouldn’t like to fight Jon Jones one day? I’m no different. One of the goals before I end my career would be to fight Jon Jones. But that’s part of the plans, our wishes, my dreams, so let’s see how things play out.”
In the end, all it would take for the UFC to convince Dos Santos to cut almost 40 pounds is to say a few magical words: Jon Jones has cleaned the division, and we will give you a shot at the light heavyweight title.
“I would sit down with my doctors, make a plan, a strategy,” Dos Santos said. “I would obviously need a bit more time to make weight well, but we would make that happen.”