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“My chin isn’t strong as Nog’s, but I fight with my soul”

Cigano's thoughts are with the title alone. Photo: Josh Hedges.

The only thing on Junior “Cigano” dos Santos Almeida’s mind is the belt. The challenger to the heavyweight throne at the UFC next Saturday, Cigano (13w, 1l) isn’t thinking about getting revenge for his master and guru Rodrigo Minotauro. The only thing in the former waiter now a Jiu-Jitsu brown’s sights is defeating the unbeaten Cain Velasquez and becoming the best in the world.

That’s what Cigano said on the last episode of Brazilian television show “Sensei Sportv,” when interviewed by Mario Filho between sessions at his training camp in Bahia state. “Who am I to get revenge for a name like Minotauro? I have a different motivation for this fight. Cain is the champ and I want to be the champion, too. And the best part is that he has never lost. I want to be the first to beat him,” added Cigano, considered the best boxer in the UFC heavyweight division, and with only one career loss – by submission. He did, however, remember that he has been knocked out before: in training, sparring with Rafael Feijão. But he said his chin isn’t all it’s cracked up to be:

“My chin isn’t as strong as, say, Minotauro’s; but I fight with my soul, with my heart. In getting to where I am today, things went quickly for someone who started less than six years ago and is already fighting for the title. I suffered a lot, trained a lot, and took a lot of beatings to get here. I learned plenty about hitting, as well as about dealing with a tight spot during a fight. I still haven’t been in one of those bad situations in the UFC, but I have in training, sparring with Rodrigo (Minotauro) or Rogério (Minotouro),” said Cigano.

Another fight promising fireworks on the card is between Ben Henderson and Clay Guida. Check out the full card:

UFC on Fox 1
Anaheim, California
Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cain Velasquez vs Junior dos Santos
Under card (on the UFC Facebook page and on FoxSports.com)
Clay Guida vs Ben Henderson
Dustin Poirier vs Pablo Garza
Cub Swanson vs Ricardo Lamas
DaMarques Johnson vs Clay Harvison
Norifumi Yamamoto vs Darren Uyenoyama
Mackens Semerzier vs Robert Peralta
Alex Caceres vs Cole Escovedo
Mike Pierce vs Paul Bradley
Aaron Rosa vs Matt Lucas

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