Former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos is reviving his career after being formally released from the UFC in 2021. Cigano is expected to face two-time boxing champion Kubrat Pulev under the amended Triad Combat rules in early 2022.
These days, dos Santos wants to leave his UFC past behind. In a recent interview with ESPN reporter Brett Okamoto, the 37-year-old Brazilian spoke of his sense of motivation as he enters a new chapter of his award-winning wrestling career.
“Now I’m training again. I run every day. I wake up at 5:30 in the morning and go to boxing class. This is something I haven’t done in a long time. I do abdominal exercises every day, ”he said.
“I feel very good now and it has given me back that good energy. It’s a pleasure to do something I love to do. I love doing it, I love fighting. But because of the responsibility they put on me, the pressure, I didn’t enjoy it. It’s weird.
“I have another smile on my face, a happiness in my heart that I can move forward.”
Pulev made his Triad Combat debut in Frank Mirda by knocking out another former UFC champion. While this has caused some concern among fans, Dos Santos feels he has taken a second wind in his career.
However, if he fails in the fight against Pulev, dos Santos says he may start thinking about his fighting future.
“Thank you for the comments and concerns. But this time, I talked to myself and my family to think about everything (and) decide what to do, ”he said.
“I’m 37 now and I was thinking of stopping. Maybe it’s not for me anymore, but it’s not my reality. My truth is, I love this thing and I can still do it. If you go to the gym and see me training, I’m fine.
“Right now, this fight is showing everyone who I am – those who support me and those who don’t – who I am. Because I feel that way. I feel happy.
“If I don’t work well, it will be true. Then it will be mine. – OK, it really is. I’m not playing very well anymore. ”
Dos Santos left the UFC with a 21-9 victory and defeat. He last fought reigning UFC 256 champion Cyril Gaine in December 2020 and lost by technical knockout in the second round.