Junior dos Santos Reveals UFC Forced Him To Fight Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Cyril Gane

The former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos made his pro-wrestling debut at All Elite Wrestling this past week and was over the moon with this feat.

The 37-year-old appeared on MMA Fighting’s Portuguese podcast, Trocação Franca, where the Brazilian unearthed that he was forced to take the fights he didn’t even want.

“They were really unprofessional, let’s put it this way, with the way they treated [me], like they [treat] everybody else,” Dos Santos said. “I wasn’t the first and won’t be the last. The last two fights I got were on those terms, ‘You take it or you’re out.”

The former fighter said now being associated with AEW, it has given him a new ray of hope and he hasn’t felt this happy in a long time.

In early 2019, dos Santos was on a three-fight winning streak with notable wins over the likes of Derrick Lewis, Tai Tuivasa and Blagoy Ivanov, but he suffered a KO loss to current UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou later that year.
2020 didn’t prove to be fruitful for the “Cigano” as he remained winless throughout the annum.
But his final two losses that came against Jairzinho Rozenstruik and future interim champion Ciryl Gane, were basically forced upon him, he admitted.

“I was always a nice guy because that’s how I like to be, I like being nice to people so people are nice to me,” dos Santos said. “… I was always a nice guy, treating everybody well, always smiling, and in a way they took advantage of it, or treated it as a weakness, kind of putting me down, I don’t know.”

The Brazilian also said that he is open to signing with a different MMA organization if the opportunity comes his way.

But as seen in a general trend these days, dos Santos is also focusing to make a switch to the boxing world as it is less taxing and brings more financial security.

Ngannou also expressed his ambitions to make a money-motivated boxing switch.

“That’s what happens in the UFC and these promotions,” dos Santos added, who had five bouts left in his deal at the time of his departure. “That locks up the athletes, [losing] great possibilities to negotiate, and they do what they want. The UFC has the safety to keep you locked for eight fights. Now, you lose the first one and they can let you go if they want, there’s no safety [for the athlete].”

“It’s different in boxing, you negotiate fight after fight, contracts and pay. My case in the UFC, for example, I fought seven times before [fighting for] the belt. I was making the same amount of money stated in my contract.”

Dos Santos had an idea for a solution for the MMA. He said he wants the sport to implement something like the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, better known as the Ali Act, which was enacted to shield boxers from exploitation, rigged rankings and matches.

“Legally, we have no structure in MMA like boxing has with this law. …,” he said. “That’s very important for fighter’s protection because right now things happen the way [MMA promoters] want. They do as they will.”

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