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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos has been on the mend after suffering a knee injury prior to his Title winning performance over Cain Velasquez in November. Because of that, there hasn't been a timetable on his fight with Alistair Overeem outside of "this summer."
However, dos Santos may be ready a little earlier than that if the UFC needs him. If not, he would like to fight on their June debut in Sao Paulo.
"It's very special for me to be back in Brazil," dos Santos said on Fuel TV's post-UFC 142 show on Saturday night. "It would be amazing for me to make my title defense in Brazil – but it doesn’t matter to me. I'm just waiting for it. Alistair came with a good strategy. We're both strikers so it'll be good for the fans and I hope I'll win."
He's been rehabbing the knee since undergoing surgery in late in 2011, and now he says he's close to 100%.
"I think in another ten days I'll be 100 percent, training normally again," he said. "I need three months in my camp and I'll be ready to fight again."
Penick's Analysis: If Overeem is ready by May, expect this fight to headline the UFC's Memorial Day weekend event, likely coming to Las Vegas. That's been a slot for big fights for the organization over the last several years, and with Anderson Silva already targeted for the June Sao Paulo show, I don't think dos Santos will get the booking as well. Of course, if Silva's recent injury comments mean he won't be available for that stadium show, dos Santos and Overeem could get the call to save the stadium event with a huge fight. Regardless, it's good that he's close to being 100% already, and I can't wait to see his fight with Overeem go down.
[Junior dos Santos art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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