Morning Report: Junior dos Santos upset with UFC over ‘absurd’ Ciryl Gane loss, plans to ‘shut up’ doubters in 2021


Junior dos Santos | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A month later and Junior dos Santos is still upset over the outcome of his last fight, but he’s planning on using that as motivation for 2021.

In December, dos Santos was knocked out by Ciryl Gane at UFC 256, but it did not come without some controversy. After being hurt by strikes from Gane, dos Santos was backed up against the fence and appeared to be on his way out. As he turned away, Gane landed an elbow that dos Santos maintains was to the back of the head and thus illegal. The referee did not call any such foul and thus Gane earned the knockout win. Afterwards, dos Santos was obviously upset with the outcome and even a few weeks removed from the fight, the former UFC heavyweight champion is still unhappy with how the UFC has handled things.

“The UFC never said a word,” dos Santos told AG Fight (h/t 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’s understandable that dos Santos is upset with the outcome. The loss is Cigano’s fourth defeat in a row, all by way of stoppage and have only increased the calls for retirement for the former champion. However, despite his bad run lately, dos Santos maintains that he’s still very much interested in competing and plans to silence his growing number of doubters this year.

“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.”

Cigano’s last win was a 2019 second-round TKO over Derrick Lewis. His current record stands at 21-9.


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