11 Mar - 
Junior dos Santos: Jon Jones challenging Daniel Cormier at heavyweight makes more sense than Brock Lesnar

Junior dos Santos can name a number of potential deserving title contenders for UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. That list does not include Brock Lesnar.

Dos Santos, the former heavyweight champ, was unequivocal of his criticism of the possibility of Lesnar returning to the UFC after three years and getting an immediate title shot against Cormier on Saturday night. “Cigano” bashed that idea on the UFC Wichita post-fight show on ESPN+, after dispatching Derrick Lewis by second-round TKO.

“For sure, not Brock Lesnar,” dos Santos said when asked about the potential next challenger for Cormier. “It doesn’t make sense. … No, no, I’m a fan. I like to see Brock Lesnar fighting, but not for the title. He’s not even part of the sport right now. He cannot come back and fight for the title like this. I know ‘DC’ wants to make money, but man, it doesn’t make sense.”

When Cormier won the heavyweight title from Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 last July, Lesnar was in attendance and entered the Octagon afterward. Lesnar shoved Cormier and talked some crap on the microphone in a memorable scene. Since then, Cormier has been pretty clear about wanting Lesnar, especially considering Lesnar, also a former champ, is one of the biggest financial draws in the history of the UFC.

Dana White, the UFC president, has co-signed on that fight, but it has yet to come together. Lesnar still has obligations with WWE, namely WrestleMania 35 coming up next month in New Jersey. He’ll be defending his WWE Universal title on that card.

Lesnar, 41, coming back right into a title shot would be controversial. He has not fought since a UFC 200 bout with Mark Hunt. Lesnar won that by unanimous decision, but it has since been overturned by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) due to Lesnar’s drug-test failure for the prohibited substance clomiphene. Lesnar had to serve one-year suspensions from the NAC and UFC anti-doping partner USADA, plus pay out a $205,000 fine to the NAC.

Dos Santos, 35, listed three heavyweights who would deserve the shot more than Lesnar: Miocic, Francis Ngannou and himself. Miocic has not fought since dropping the belt to Cormier last year, but had defended the belt a record three times prior to that. Ngannou is coming off two straight knockout wins, most recently a quick finish of former champ Cain Velasquez. And dos Santos has now won three in a row, the last two by TKO.

Even UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones could lay a better claim to facing his rival Cormier next for the heavyweight title, dos Santos said.

On the post-fight show, analyst and former UFC champion Michael Bisping played devil’s advocate, saying Cormier has paid his dues and deserves a huge payday which fighting Lesnar would bring in. Dos Santos said he understands it from Cormier’s perspective, but not from a sport’s perspective.

“Of course,” dos Santos said. “I do understand that. But I cannot agree that this fight with Brock Lesnar makes sense, because it doesn’t. But of course politics — it’s politics. They can do whatever they want, but it doesn’t make sense. The right fight to do in the heavyweight division is Stipe, Ngannou or even me. I don’t know. I heard something about Jon Jones coming up to the heavyweight and fighting him. That would make more sense than Brock Lesnar fighting. But we’ll understand if he has to fight Brock Lesnar to make money or whatever. It’s always interesting to see Brock Lesnar fighting — and getting beat. I don’t know.”