Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior “Cigano” dos Santos will not be cleared to train for twelve weeks following shoulder surgery, according to a statement he made to MMA Fighting.
“Cigano,” who has only lost to two opponents in his eight-year UFC career, posted a picture of himself bandaged up on his Instagram account.
In the post under his picture, Junior told his fans in both his native Portuguese and in English that he felt “blessed,” and he assured them that he would be “100 percent” again very soon.
“Despite being Brazilian I’ve never played soccer very well, I also wasn’t good enough on swimming or running or any other sports like those. But luckily I found myself in the fight world and I can say, I’m good it.
But fighting demands a lot and sometimes even in victory we can get hurt. I could say that now would be a very difficult time for me, but I actually feel blessed. I hurt my shoulder a bit but I won a great fight, and I’m having a excellent care so that very, very soon I will be 100% again.
I had a small shoulder surgery this morning and as my good friend Doctor Howard Gelb who took great care of me said, everything went perfectly and guess what! I’m already at home relaxing.
I just would like to let you guys know through me”
Dos Santos also informed MMA Fighting that he had a level four injury on his rotator cuff, a serious injury that required him to get surgery.
Junior dos Santos is coming off of a dominant victory against fellow heavyweight, Ben Rothwell, at UFC Fight Night 86 in Zagreb, Croatia.
After his win, dos Santos told Combate that, though he was not thinking about his title shot yet, he assured the MMA world he would be champion again.
“I think I’m doing fine now, but I know I need to improve not only my boxing, but my wrestling and jiu-jitsu as well. But I can’t leave my boxing aside. I’m a boxer and I need to keep it sharp so I can feel confident. We are putting everything back into place now and that’s why I say I will be champion again, for sure. I don’t know how many fights I’ll have before I get a title shot. I just want to fight, because I know the title shot will come. I’ll let the UFC decide.”
It may be hard to see how a man like Junior dos Santos, who only three years ago seemed to dominate everyone in the division except then-champion Cain Velasquez, could improve much on anything.
But Junior’s career has been in a slump since his second loss to Cain.
Not only did dos Santos suffer his first loss to someone other than Velasquez when he succumbed to a second-round TKO at the hands of Alistair Overeem, but Cigano has not finished an opponent since his 2013 knockout victory over Mark Hunt at UFC 160.
For a man who finished his first eleven fights – ten of them in the first round and one of them over reigning heavyweight champion, Fabricio Werdum – and never went more than a year-and-a-half without ending a match before the final bell, this is quite telling.
But with his recent win, Junior may be on his way to reclaiming his short-lived glory as the UFC’s heavyweight champion. A fight against the winner of the upcoming match between Alistair Overeem and Andrei Arlovski would certainly make sense, and a win would definitely propel him closer to heavyweight gold.
For now, though, Junior dos Santos has one thing and one thing only to focus on.
[Image by Julie Jacobson/AP Images]