Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos has had some strong words to say about his mentor in MMA, according to reports.
That of course is former UFC and PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira. Dos Santos and 'Big Nog' had trained together for years at Team Nogueira, were Dos Santos grew as a fighter and became the UFC Heavyweight Champion.
Since his most recent loss to Cain Velasquez however, JDS has sought for a change in camps. Preparing for his fight with Stipe Miocic, Dos Santos is training at Nova Uniao, a gym were UFC Champions Jose Aldo and Renan Barao are based.
Although there has been some bitterness on the side of Team Nogueira, Dos Santos still has the same level of respect for Nogueira and the rest of the team. Speaking on his mentor's most recent KO loss to Roy Nelson about whether it's time for 'Big Nog' to hang his gloves up, JDS said:
“I would never say something like that to him. I think, in my opinion, he’s a warrior. He’s a great fighter. He will always do a great job for everybody, so I think it’s about him. He has to decide if he wants to retire or not by himself.
“I know Nogueira very well, and I know he’s a really tough guy. I know he could do a better job in that fight, but I don’t know why he didn't, so he lost the fight. But I think for sure he still can make good fights for us.”
Nogueira does seem well past his best, and UFC President Dana White has called for him to retire. However the fighting spirit is still in him, as he's targeting a third match with rival Frank Mir. Last time the pair fought Mir broke Nogueira's arm via kimura, forcing the fight to stop.
As for Dos Santos, he aims to climb back to the top of the Heavyweight division. He meets Stipe Moicic at The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale. On the match up he said:
“I didn’t imagine (I would be fighting Miocic) before, but I knew he could be a future opponent. I think it’s going to be a great fight because he comes from wrestling, but he shows good boxing skills all the time. For sure, we’re going to have a great show because we’re going to stand up and bang.”
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