Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos is preparing to headline UFC Fight Night 105, when he faces Stefan Struve in a rematch.
While Dos Santos is grateful for Struve for taking the fight, other heavyweights have turned down fights with him, and he understands why nobody wants to fight him.
"I was told that Mark Hunt didn't turn down the fight, but he had some issues with the UFC, some contract stuff, so the fight didn’t happen. But Alistair, yes, he turned it down,” Dos Santos said to MMA Fighting. "It looks like it was offered for him in November and then in December, and he turned it down saying that he didn’t have enough time (to prepare). I think this fight will be hard (to happen again) [laughs]. I think he knows that what happened will never happen again. He was lucky. I can’t just wait for a fight, for athletes to be well enough to fight me. I understand why they don’t want to fight me. I’m in a great moment in my career, my last fight was great, and I’m feeling this is my moment. I know how to use my strength and skill the best way possible. It makes sense for them to fear fighting me.”
Struve wasn’t the first or the only option for Dos Santos to fight, but with other fighters supposedly turning down fights, Struve became the prime pick for the former champion.
"We started to consider him as an option because we were told that the UFC was trying to find a fight for me, and most of them turned it down,” dos Santos said. "Some athletes said they didn’t have enough time to prepare for me, others turned it down, or were injured. When I heard Stefan Struve accepted it, I was happy because I’m recovered from my shoulder injury since October and I have no time to waste."
UFC Fight Night 105 takes place on Sunday, February 19 from the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada with Junior Dos Santos and Stefan Struve headlining.