Junior “Cigano” dos Santos was given news any fighter would dream of hearing: he was going to get a shot at the UFC belt. However, current champion Cain Velasquez ended up injuring out, putting a damper on the Brazilian’s dream.
Then, Cigano was picked to coach one of the teams on TUF 13, the UFC reality show. Again he had his opponent switched out on him, since Brock Lesnar, the coach on the opposing team, pulled out to illness too. That was when the heavy-handed Shane Carwin entered the picture; Carwin’s the man who’ll be across the cage from Cigano this Saturday at UFC 131 in Canada.
“We need to be prepared for everything because we know what can happen. Of course I was disappointed. I qualified as challenger, made it to where every heavyweight wants to be, and I’m going to have to wait a while longer. I’ll have a different sort of fight and the motivation will be different too, but I’m still really motivated because I haven’t competed in ten months. My training camp went well and now I’m close to my next fight, this time against Shane Carwin. And I feel my motivation will be the key element in the octagon,” said Cigano on the UFC website.
“I don’t see it as that big a change because a fight’s a fight and we have to be ready for everything. The change to be made here is to adapt to Carwin and his heavy hand, but I think that’s about it. I’m ready for him. People will get to see how good my training’s been these last few months,” he added.
“Carwin’s an excellent athlete; he deserves respect and I respect him. I’ve also been lucky in my career. I’ve been fighting the top guys since the start. I feel I’m a really lucky guy and that’s provided me a good background, prepared me to fight the big names. This is where I can get my title shot back, God willing, this year,” he said in closing.