UFC: Junior dos Santos Expects Either Josh Barnett Or Travis Browne To Be His Next Opponent

By Rick LaFitte
Junior dos Santos
Ron Chenoy USA TODAY Sports

Junior dos Santos is hoping to get another high-profile fight after failing in his trilogy fight against UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. “Cigano” showed a ton of courage but was eventually stopped in the fifth and final round at UFC 166. Dos Santos has his sights set on another title shot down the road as he hopes to once again become a champion.

Despite the loss, most experts still view him as being the second-best heavyweight fighter in the organization. As for who he expects to get next, the former champion believes there are a couple of fighters on his radar. Dos Santos recently told Brazilian media outlet Lance! that he’s expecting to get either Josh Barnett or Travis Browne next. Those two heavyweights are set to meet in a key affair at UFC 168 on December 28 in Las Vegas.

The winner could very likely position themselves as the next title contender after Fabricio Werdum. Werdum is expected to finally get his opportunity against Velasquez once the champion has healed up from a shoulder injury that he suffered in Houston in the victory over dos Santos.

It stands to reason that dos Santos would in all likelihood get the loser of the December 28 fight. The winner of Browne-Barnett likely isn’t going to jeopardize a future title shot by fighting someone as dangerous as dos Santos.

Either matchup would be a stellar one. The veteran Barnett has been in with tremendous competition during an extensive MMA career, and the catch wrestling star fears no one. Browne is an up-and-comer who showed tremendous resiliency in a victory over Alistair Overeem and has tremendous power and finishing abilities as well.

In regards to Overeem, he could be a wild card pick to possibly face dos Santos next. If Overeem looks impressive and defeats Frank Mir at UFC 169, it could be a possibility. While “The Reem” has had his struggles, keep in mind that he was supposed to face dos Santos for the heavyweight title back at UFC 146. Unfortunately, that fight never materialized after Overeem failed a pre-fight drug test. They had also been set to meet at UFC 160, but Overeem withdrew due to an injury.

Whoever it ends up being, dos Santos will be in for a challenge and no doubt will be ready for it. After a second lopsided loss to Velasquez, another title shot for dos Santos is likely at least two or three victories away.

Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports

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