Just In Junior Dos Santos still thinks he’s among division’s best, vows to rebuild like always MMA Life

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MINNEAPOLIS – Junior Dos Santos’ title shot aspirations were put to a halt after a first-round knockout loss to Francis Ngannou this past Saturday in the UFC on ESPN 3 main event in Minneapolis.

That won’t stop Dos Santos (21-6 MMA, 15-5 UFC) from trying to work his way back up, though. The former heavyweight champion is no stranger to the climb, given he’s been a top contender since his UFC debut more 10 years ago.

“I’ve faced all of them,” Dos Santos said at the post-fight news conference at Target Center. “Like I said, I’ve been here since 2008 and since 2008, I’m on top of this division. I’m always among the top fighters, and I don’t think it’s taking away any credit from me. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Congrats to Francis Ngannou. I’m going to work hard to have this fight again.”

Dos Santos was on a three-fight winning streak before his stoppage loss to Ngannou, and never has lost two fights in a row in his MMA career. With previous plans to stay active in 2019, he said he hopes to use the remainder of the year to bounce back.

“That’s still my goal,” Dos Santos said. “Having another fight is a medicine for me to heal this injury that defeat causes on you. So I want to fight as soon as I’m able to again.

“I had a lot of plans in a different situation, a different result but it’s so hard to build your way up in this division, in this sport,” Dos Santos added. “Sometimes all of a sudden, everything disappears in front of you but I’m a positive guy and I’m ready to rebuild. I know how to do it, I’m made of truth and I will do it again.”

He said he knows he still has a lot left to give in the division, and the 35-year-old Brazilian is not done yet. He still hopes to try his hand at boxing down the line.

“I love to do this,” he said. “I really believe I belong to this world – the world of fighting. I was having good times building up my chance to fight for the title again, and to even one day face a boxing guy, but I think it’s going to take a little more time now.”

For complete coverage of UFC on ESPN 3, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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