MINNEAPOLIS – Following his loss on Saturday night, Junior Dos Santos made it a point to congratulate his opponent Francis Ngannou on an important victory. However, the UFC heavyweight champion feels the biggest opponent in the cage might have been himself
Saturday night, Ngannou (14- ] Dos Santos (21-6 MMA, 15-5 UFC ) via TKO in the opening minutes of their main event at UFC on ESPN. The loss of Dos Santos is challenged by the heavyweight strap in his next outing, while it boosted Ngannou into the title conversation
UFC on ESPN 3 took place Saturday at Target Center. The card aired on ESPN.
The finishing sequence saw Dos Santos throw a looping overhand hook that ultimately missed, before Ngannou connected with fight-ending blows. Annoyed with himself at the post-fight news conference, the 35-year-old Brazilian highlighted the mistake he made which opened up for the finish.
“If I had followed the strategy a little more with more attention, I think I would do very well, ”said Santos at the post-fight news conference. “I was feeling good. I was feeling fine. My punches were connecting. My kicks were connecting. In the field good. But the mistake was, why overhand right? I should stick to the strategy and throw straight punches. Maybe the jab and cross would be a better option. When you see opportunities you go too hungry for those opportunities. Sometimes you pay a high price for that. ”
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Despite being complimentary towards Ngannou, Dos Santos feels it was his fight to lose. Mental errors aside, it could have played out differently had it stuck to the game plan.
"I don't want to take any credit (from) him, but I kid or give him that victory," Dos Santos said . “Why throw that right over and get closer to him? Give him the chance to answer on top. Because that's what he does. Every time you miss a punch on him, he's right there to reply to that. It was a big mistake. Like I said, I did it in the fight with Derrick Lewis, but I was able to come back. This time it didn't work. ”
Where does Dos Santos go from here? Not even “Cigano” is able to answer that question
“It was on my plans (to lose) so I don't really know,” Dos Santos said. “I had a lot of plans in a different situation and a different result. It's so hard to build your way up in this sport. Sometimes all of a sudden (everything) disappears from in front of you. I'm a positive guy and I'm ready to rebuild. I know how to do it. It's made of truth and truth. I know how to do it again and I will do it again. Congratulations to him. ”
Hurt by the loss, Dos Santos believes the only healing remedy for his ailment will be back to the win column.
" Having another fight, it's kind of a medicine for me to half this injury defeat causes you, "Dos Santos said. “I want to fight as soon as I'm able to fight again. Let's go back home, think about everything that happened and get back to work. I believe I belong to this world of fighting. ”
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