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Junior dos Santos responds to Ben Rothwell: ‘If you want to be the champion, you can’t pick opponents’

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After his loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC Fight Night 86, Ben Rothwell lamented that the fight was a “strategically stupid” one for him to have accepted, considering how close Rothwell was to a UFC heavyweight title shot and the fact that dos Santos was coming off a loss.

Dos Santos, though, disagrees with that idea.

“If you’re winning, you have to fight with anyone,” the former UFC heavyweight champion said Monday on The MMA Hour. “If you want to be the champion, you can’t pick opponents. So if he would like to be the champion, at some point he should fight against me or all the other guys. It’s part of the thing to be champion.”

Dos Santos, 32, dialed back the clock to score a vintage win over Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 86, halting the American’s four-fight hot streak with a masterful performance that evoked memories of dos Santos’ time as UFC heavyweight champion. Afterward, Rothwell hinted on The MMA Hour that he fought injured and said it was a bad choice for him to have agreed to the bout in the first place, based on the rankings and momentum of the two heavyweights at the time of the booking.

When asked about the rest of Rothwell’s statements, dos Santos said only that Rothwell failed to “find himself” in the fight and suggested it may have been because dos Santos was “too fast” for Rothwell to figure out his rhythm.

Either way, the win propelled the reinvigorated dos Santos back into a crowded title picture, and dos Santos knows gold could be closer than expected given the recent upheaval in the UFC heavyweight division.

“The belt is always my goal, my biggest goal,” dos Santos said. “I don’t care about anything that’s happening with all ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting