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Junior Dos Santos Targeting Return Late This Year

Junior dos Santos

Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos continues to rehab from a hand injury that kept him out of a planned bout with Stipe Miocic earlier this year.

Dos Santos, speaking with MMAjunkie.com in Brazil recently, updated everyone on his condition. “Cigano” has not competed since a 2013 loss to Cain Velasquez.

“It’s almost 100-percent,” dos Santos said. “I’m not going to say 100-percent because it’s going to be too much, but it’s almost there.

“I’m feeling OK from the injuries and actually I’m ready to go. I’m just training hard and I think I can prepare for a fight already.”

Dos Santos (16-3) has won 10 of his 12 Octagon bouts, losing only to Velasquez inside the UFC’s cage. He said there was no surgery required to repair the damage done to his hand, and is targeting a return before the end of the year.

As for who he might be matched up with, dos Santos is leaving that in the hands of the promotion. He did mention Ben Rothwell as a possible opponent, as Rothwell is coming off a knockout win over Alistair Overeem. Miocic also does not have a fight lined up after defeating Fabio Maldonado following the dos Santos’ exit.

“Whatever UFC wants me to do, I will do,” he said. “I love what I do. Right now, it doesn’t really matter to me. I just want to fight. I want to fight before the end of the year because it’s very important.

“In October, it’s going to be one year that I haven’t had a fight. It’s making me very frustrated and I’m feeling very nervous about it. That’s what I do. That’s what I love to do and that’s what I do to live; and I can’t wait to be back.”

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