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UFC 131 Open Workouts

UFC 131 Open Workouts

June 10, 2011

Diego Nunes throws a jump kick during the UFC 131 open workouts on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at the Tactix Gym in Vancouver.

At long last, the wait is nearly over. He may have lost the chance to trade blows with Lesnar – who dos Santos referred to as “the most popular fighter in the world” – but it didn’t hurt his popularity any to have a weekly stint on reality TV where he was the smiling, gregarious counterweight to the scowling, misanthropic Lesnar.

“People recognize me more on the streets,” said dos Santos. “I’m very happy with that because I lost my opportunity to fight for the title, and then comes the TUF in my life. So it was very good and God blessed me again.”

Allowing fans to see his friendly, easy-going side might have even been the best thing to come out of the experience, though Soares wasn’t surprised to see people take to dos Santos’ warm personality as a coach, he said.

“He’s just a great guy. He’s an all-around good guy. He’s super intelligent, very motivated. He has his goals set and he’s going after them. He doesn’t steer away from that.”

When they heard that Lesnar was out and Carwin was likely in, Soares said, they figured it was a fight they’d have to take sooner or later, so they might as well go ahead and do it.

“Whether he fights Carwin on Saturday or eight months from now, eventually this fight was going to happen. So let the chips fall where they may. In this business, you have to be prepared for everything. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, and I guarantee you it won’t be the last. Doing what we do for a living, we have to be prepared for this. His coaches have been a great influence in putting that in his head that, look, we’re professional fighters. This happens. It’s part of the game.”

With the fight just days away, dos Santos no longer has to worry about when he’ll get paid for hitting someone again. Now it’s just a question of what will happen when he finally gets the chance.

Not surprisingly, “Cigano” likes his chances.

“[Carwin] has good skills in boxing, but I think I’m better than him in boxing. That’s why I think he’s going to try to take me down, because when he starts to feel…I know he’s good and he’s got heavy hands. But I think I’m faster and I’ve got more skills [in the] stand-up than him.”

And just because he’s appeared patient and understanding of all the changes and delays, don’t let it fool you. Dos Santos has been just as frustrated at times with the long layoff due to other people’s medical problems, Soares said, even if he didn’t often complain about it.

“Or, well, at least he doesn’t complain to the media,” Soares added.

Source: MMAFighting