The submission that changed Junior Cigano’s life

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All it took was an orange juice for the current UFC heavyweight champion to let down his guard and look back on his entire MMA career in a relaxed and revealing chat with Yahoo Brazil’s Michel Blanco.

“It took me some time to believe it. And when I saw Velasquez falling, I couldn’t  believe it, you can notice it took me a while to go after him”, said Junior dos Santos, who commented on other, less sweet moments in the UFC, like his debut, when he was more nervous, and the night Cro Cop hit him below the belt and he couldn’t even open his eyes.

To Cigano, a good fighter knows how to take a hit. “I get hit in the face and don’t get upset because I have years of boxing training. A good fighter knows how to take a hit. I think in my case to be punched on the face works to make me more alert”, he laughs, while explains the importance of the only loss of his career (see the video below).

“Before that fight I was one, and then I became another. After my defeat (against Joaquim Mamute), I became a totally different fighter”, he admits. “That submission freed me of the responsibility of being undefeated, and I stopped being afraid there. I had no fear in my next challenges”, he said.

Cigano also recalled how his trademark gesture of pointing to the ground came about. “It happened when I faced Werdum. It was spontaneous, but it ended as a sign to call the responsibility”.

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