Don’t Expect Junior dos Santos to go Submission Hunting, Despite Francis Ngannou’s Recent Comments
Recently Francis Ngannou questioned whether Junior dos Santos is in fact, a BJJ black belt. But, it doesn't look like "Cigano" will be changing up his usual approach as a result.
Francis Ngannou apparently isn’t convinced that Junior dos Santos is a legitimate, black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. But, based off follow-up comments from the former heavyweight and his BJJ coach, it doesn’t look like JDS is going to be hunting for chokes and armbars at UFC Minneapolis.
While speaking with the media recently, in advance of this Saturday’s bout, Ngannou relayed he doesn’t “believe” dos Santos is really on a black belt level in BJJ. Not surprisingly, those comments got back to the Brazilian star, and dos Santos had this to say in response (quote via MMA Fighting):
“I honestly don’t know what’s his strategy with saying something like that, but if he’s trying to avoid getting punched in the face, that didn’t work,” dos Santos said. “And he came to that conclusion based on what? Come on.”
And what did “Cigano’s” jiu-jjtsu coach, Carlton in Salvador have to say about Ngannou’s opinion? Here is some of what the star’s longtime coach had to say:
“He’s another trash talker looking for attention, trying to impress, or even try to challenge ‘Cigano’. Cigano is going there to fight MMA, not jiu-jitsu. (Ngannou) is just another trash talker. If he wants to see Cigano’s jiu-jitsu, he should register to compete in a jiu-jitsu tournament here — well, I mean, I don’t even know if he’s a black belt.”
When you consider these statements, coupled with how JDS has fought during his career, it would be pretty surprising if we saw a wrestling/grappling centric approach on Saturday. Now, does this mean dos Santos won’t look to take the fight down under any circumstances? No.
While dos Santos has outstanding boxing, heavy hands and dangerous kicks, there’s no denying that Ngannou has next level, jaw-dropping power. Further, Stipe Miocic had success against Ngannou while working from the top position. So, if JDS gets into trouble standing, or a clear, opening for a takedown presents itself, particularly later in the fight, dos Santos might try taking it down.