Junior dos Santos plans on shutting up all his doubters this year.
Dos Santos is coming off a second-round TKO defeat to Ciryl Gane at UFC 256 last month. That made it four losses in a row for the former champion who was particularly aggrieved at the nature of the finish as he felt Gane struck him in the back of the head with the elbow that ultimately dropped him.
The Brazilian has let his feelings be known about the alleged illegal elbow numerous times since only to receive no response from the UFC — something “Cigano” wasn’t a fan of.
“The UFC never said a word,” dos Santos told AG Fight (via Bloody Elbow). “It’s fine by them. I find that absurd. A clearly illegal shot and the president and a bunch of fighters think that what happened was acceptable. Actually, everyone agrees that it was illegal, but they said I turned around and positioned myself that way.
“To make a comparison, which I don’t even think I should, that’s like blaming the victim for a crime of theft, murder, or rape. I don’t think it was intentional, but that doesn’t make it any less illegal. They said I turned around. I didn’t. I was already standing sideways for about eight seconds and you can see the elbow hit the back of my head from there.
“I think they’re trying to make this blow over because of the negative point I currently am in my career. I was coming off three losses and he is a guy on the rise, undefeated. Maybe they want to capitalize on that. I don’t know and I don’t care. I just want justice to be made.”
It was all the more important for Dos Santos to get the victory over Gane not only to return to the win column and put himself back in title contention, but also avoid the possibility of getting cut.
And while he’s going through a tough moment in his career right now, Dos Santos plans on making adjustments and shutting up plenty a critic in 2021.
“Professionally, it’s has been rather heavy moment in my career,” dos Santos said. “This is a tough sport and you need to be psychologically healthy in order to give your best. I feel great physically, but I feel like my psychological side has been affected. You have to tear down so many walls that it takes a toll. I’ve been dedicating myself to put my mind in the right place. I love to fight, I want to go on, I’m one of the best heavyweights to ever do it. It hasn’t been happening for me in the octagon lately. I just need to make some adjustments and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
“This year of 2021, I’ll shut up a lot of mouths. What gets me are people who say they understand fighting going against me for this moment, like everything is fine. This year will be to shut up this kind of thing. It’s the year to slap them in the face, to silence everyone who doubts me. I’ll turn it all around. It’s the year to make adjustments and make it happen.”
Whether the turnaround will be in the UFC remains to be seen for now.