MANILA, Philippines – Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos of Brazil informed UFC president Dana White that he would rather face Dutch kickboxer Alistair Overeem than fight Cain Velasquez in a rematch.
In an interview following UFC on FOX 4 last weekend, White revealed that he and Dos Santos had a conversation regarding his future fight.
“I sat down with Junior Dos Santos, who is the nicest guy in the world... He said, ‘I have nothing but respect for Cain Velasquez, as a person and as a fighter. I think he deserves a shot at the title, but I do not want to fight him,’” White said.
Dos Santos knocked out Velasquez at UFC on FOX 1 to win the heavyweight title.
White said Dos Santos feels disrespected because Overeem has been talking trash about him.
“He said, ‘Alistair Overeem is a punk, he’s got a big mouth, he’s been saying lots of bad things about me. I want to knock him out and I want to knock him out now,’” White said.
Dos Santos was supposed to make the first defense of his title against Overeem last May, but the fight was scrapped when Overeem failed a random drug test. He has since been suspended until December 2012.
Dos Santos instead fought former champion Frank Mir and knocked him out in the second round of their main event fight at UFC 146.
White announced following that event that Velasquez was the leading candidate as Dos Santos’ next opponent, but has now backed off that statement.
“(Dos Santos) wants the fight (against Overeem). I’m not saying that’s what’s happening, I’m just saying that’s what he is saying. He’s saying he wants this fight,” White said.
He added that he will have to consider Dos Santos’ request, given the Brazilian’s track record with the UFC.
“He’s my heavyweight champion. He’s one of those guys who... is a guy who’s done everything we’ve ever asked of him, and he’s never asked much of us,” White said. “So when a guy like him comes to me and wants something, yeah, I have to consider it.”
It is unsure if Dos Santos will get his wish, however, as White confirmed that Overeem will have to serve out his suspension.
“He’s in trouble, and he’s going to have to do the time,” White said.