Junior dos Santos is hopeful of a title fight against current UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, before ‘DC’ eventually retires.
Dos Santos (20-5) is on a two-fight winning streak for the first time since 2011/12, defeating Blagoy Ivanov by decision and most recently beating Tai Tuivasa by TKO in December. “Cigano” will hope to make it three wins in a row when he takes on former title challenger Derrick Lewis in March.
”Derrick Lewis just fought for the belt, he’s No. 2 in that ranking the UFC does, so it’s a great fight,” dos Santos told MMA Fighting. “It’s the type of challenge I was hoping for, it motivates us, so I’m happy. We’ll have a short camp this time, only two months, but it will be enough.”
With Lewis sitting at the number two rank in the heavyweight division, dos Santos feels a win over “The Black Beast” definitely warrants him a shot at the belt he once held after defeating Cain Velasquez in their first fight back in 2011.
”I haven’t thought too much about that, but I think so, yes,” dos Santos said when asked if a win over Lewis should grant him a shot at Cormier. “Derrick Lewis is ranked No. 2, so I think I can definitely fight for the belt after this win. What matters the most is getting good victories. I’m already qualified to fight for the belt, but we obviously need a winning streak to get there.”
Cormier’s coach, Javier Mendez, has recently said he expects ‘DC’ to put his retirement plans for March of this year on hold. Mendez outlined the ‘best scenario’ for Cormier would be to face Brock Lesnar, but with his UFC future extended dos Santos is hoping he can get a crack at Cormier’s heavyweight gold.
“He’s a great fighter, he imposes his strategy in the fight, especially his wrestling,” dos Santos said. “He has good strikes, too, and since he has a great wrestling his opponents get confused and he lands his hands clean, like he did to Miocic. This challenge would excite me. Not only because he’s a champion, but because he’s a great athlete, too.”