Dos Santos ready for Gonzaga in intriguing UFC Live co-headliner
Of the many things
"The goal is never to hurt someone you're sparring with," said Dos Santos, who ranks alongside
Since joining the UFC in 2008, Dos Santos has provided no quarter to his opposition.
Sunday in Broomfield, Colo., former UFC heavyweight title contender
"I want to fight against the best," dos Santos, 11-1, said through his manager and translator, Ed Soares. "If Gonzaga happens to be on my path to what I want, which is to be UFC champion, that's who I'll face and that's who my focus will be on."
The 6-2, 260-pound Gonzaga has split his last six fights, and while losses to
Junior dos Santos they ain't.
Power, speed and athleticism -- discovered by
"I feel that my weight is ideal for heavyweight," said the 6-4, 235-pounder, who is currently ranked eighth by SI.com. "They may be bigger. They may be heavier. But I'm quicker. And just because they're bigger doesn't mean they're stronger."
People who regularly see Dos Santos in the gym, where he's most often described as a tireless worker and brute, can't speak in more glowing terms. He might bust up a sparring partner once in a while like a kid that doesn't know his own strength -- and in some ways that's exactly what he is -- yet
Doria, whom Soares likened to a Brazilian
In Dos Santos' lone loss, a tapout to armbar in 2007 against
"I've taken to it very easily," he said. "It's a lot of hard work but it comes to me naturally and I feel confident with my progress."
On March 27 in Newark, N.J., as part of UFC 111,
"Cain is a great fighter," Dos Santos said. "He's coming off some big wins, especially the win off Nogueira. I think he has some momentum. And I think he has some luck on his side. I feel his fight with Nogueira, there was a lot of luck involved in that. But he's a great, strong fighter and he's well-rounded."
Eventually, said Dos Santos, he wants be remembered in the same vein as Nogueira and the man who has reigned atop the division for a decade,
"Those two have have been the face of what the heavyweight division is made of," he said. "Where would the heavyweight division be without Rodrigo and without Fedor? That's my goal. That's why I work so hard. To potentially be an idol or hero to somebody the way that Nogueira is a hero to me."