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Junior dos Santos a ‘Fine-Tuned Machine’

Junior dos Santos a ‘Fine-Tuned Machine’

June 10, 2011

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Junior dos Santos sure didn’t look like a pro fighter who hasn’t worked in ten months.

There was no extra flab on display in his first public appearance before his fight with Shane Carwin on Saturday night. No visible signs of torpor. Not even close.

As the Brazilian showed off his boxing skills with some tricky mitt work at Wednesday afternoon’s UFC 131 open workouts, he looked as sharp as ever. Even if he were rusty from the time off, one would think that the way he swatted the focus mitts with the speed and timing of a punk rock drummer couldn’t help but knock that rust right off.

Then again, that’s what the mitts are there for. Lots of people look good hitting them on workout day. After nearly a year on the shelf, though, dos Santos has the distinct air of a man who is tired of hitting a target that doesn’t hit back.

“I don’t care about the opponent now. I want to fight,” dos Santos said, after admitting that he was initially “a little bit disappointed” not to get a crack at Brock Lesnar. “My last fight was ten months ago, so [that's] too much time to sit out [of] fights.”

It’s also a long time to go without a paycheck, especially for a young fighter in what are supposed to be his best, most profitable years. That, said manager Ed Soares, is why they never really considered waiting for UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez to get healthy enough to give dos Santos his promised title shot.

“It would have been too long,” said Soares. “He would have been inactive for over a year. He wants to fight. He’s got to stay busy. He’s 26 years old and he’s a fine-tuned machine. It’s like having a Ferrari and just leaving it in the garage.”

Then again, agreeing to take the Ultimate Fighter coaching gig opposite Lesnar also put the Ferrari in the garage for a little while, which had financial implications of its own, Soares admitted.

“It does, but you know what? The UFC always finds a way to make things right.”

Source: MMAFighting