Junior Dos Santos is interested in a showdown with Francis Ngannou after UFC on ESPN+ 4.
Following Dos Santos’ (21-5 MMA, 15-4 UFC) second-round TKO of Derrick Lewis (21-7 MMA, 12-5 UFC) in Saturday’s headliner at INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kan., Ngannou (13-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) posted a curious emoji on social media, seemingly reacting the result of the heavyweight contender bout (via Twitter):
Dos Santos was asked about Ngannou’s post, and he immediately expressed interested in booking the matchup. The pair were supposed to fight at UFC 215 in September 2017, but “Cigano” was pulled from the matchup when he was flagged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
The Brazilian was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing in his USADA case, but the Ngannou fight couldn’t happen as planned. With “The Predator” coming off a quick finish of ex-champ Cain Velasquez at UFC on ESPN 1 in February, the timing could be right to reschedule.
“I think that would be great,” Dos Santos said on the UFC on ESPN+ 4 post-fight show on ESPN+. “It should’ve happened in the past, but because of something weird it didn’t happen. Maybe now it can happen.”
If Dos Santos and Ngannou do fight, it won’t be in the very near future. Although Dos Santos said he wants to be as active as possible, he said a new addition to his family will put off his timeline for an octagon return until late August.
“Right now I need a break,” Dos Santos said. “I need to stay active that’s the most important thing right now. Before my career comes my family. My daughter is born in May. I need to get ready to receive her. … I’ll fight again maybe at the end of August.”