One of the many things that has defined this recent era of MMA is the overwhelming amount of UFC fighters calling for fights in the ring rather than the cage.
The latest is heavyweight Junior Dos Santos, who faces Stipe Miocic for the UFC title at UFC 211 next weekend. Dos Santos wore the belt once before and is hungry to prove that this time he can become a dominant champion. But after beating Miocic, Dos Santos’s next dream fight is a boxing match with IBF and WBA champion Anthony Joshua.
"I would love to have a boxing match,” dos Santos told Combate. “Since I’m going to be the UFC heavyweight champion and there can be only one toughest man on the planet, I would like to fight Anthony Joshua. Champion against champion. It would be sensational."
Joshua recently beat former dominant champion Wladimir Klitschko in what was one of the greatest heavyweight title fights in recent years.
Though dos Santos says he would love to step into the ring, he says he is not looking past Miocic. The two fought back in 2014, and though dos Santos won, it was one of the most back-and-forth heavyweight slugfests in UFC history. The Brazilian former champion is not looking to go five rounds with Miocic again.
"It was such a tough fight,” dos Santos said. “Stipe has heavy hands and great boxing. It was a hard fight for both of us and we learned a lot from each other. I think we have both improved and we will put on an even better fight. In the end, all that matters is who won. I was so happy with that win. I want the same result. I believe I will knock him out in the second round. I’m very confident. I’m a father now and I’m going through a great time in my life. It’s going to be incredible for the fans. I feel stronger, healthier and I feel like it’s my time. I’ve been working and I feel prepared. I respect Miocic and I will be in my best shape for this fight."