Junior dos Santos was prepared for this bout months ago.
This Saturday at UFC Fight Night in Boise, Idaho the headlining bout on the card is set to be the 18-5-0 Junior dos Santos versus former WSOF Heavyweight Champion Blagoy Ivanov who will also be making his UFC debut. In early May dos Santos was present for the 'American Top Team' media day in Florida and he sat down to speak with Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald. During the interview dos Santos was asked for his thoughts on the July 14th matchup against Ivanov and stated that it will be a tough fight for both of them but Junior closed his response by adding that he has a few surprises up his sleeve.
“Yeah, its gonna be his debut, Ivanov’s debut in the UFC, but I feel like its gonna be a tough fight because he was champion--Heavyweight Champion in two different organizations. So he’s a tough guy, everybody knows that and I’m gonna be… I’m very happy that I’m gonna be the guy to welcome him.” dos Santos continued, “Oh yeah, there’s always [a] surprise welcome for this type of situation”.
Junior dos Santos has been with UFC for nearly eight years and prior to his emergence into the Mixed Martial Arts world in the United States, he found his love for the sport in his native Brazil where he competed for a number of promotions and was successful in his first six fights. Junior went on to discuss how he developed his love for the the sport of MMA.
“I started in MMA in 2005. April 2005 was my first contact with the martial arts. I started doing Jiu Jitsu and one year and a-half later I did my first MMA fight, professional MMA fight, and I got the W, I got the victory, I knocked the guy out and I said, ‘Man, that’s what I want for my life now’ so I started to dedicate myself better to do that you know, and I was training with some amazing people like Big Nog, Little Nog and all these guys." He said. "So, things started to happen in my life, and six years later, 2011, November 2011 I became champion of the world you know so that was a fast but amazing career, an amazing achievement in my life, and I’m working to that again. I wanna reach that point again, so [I’m absolutely] 100% sure that I can do that and my opponents know that too.”
To check out the card for UFC Fight Night in Boise, click here. Keep your eye on the lookout this Saturday for our live coverage article for the event as well. If you are going to use any of the quotes above, please credit Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald with an H/T to Fightful for the transcriptions.