“A lot of people, they start talking about Cain Velasquez,” Dos Santos told ESPN.com. “But then they ask about Alistair Overeem.”
Overeem remains suspended from entering the Octagon until late December, but he continues to appear in headlines. As premier of a matchup as Dos Santos versus Velasquez will be at UFC 155, fans have not forgotten the Dos Santos versus Overeem fight they were supposed to see in May before Overeem failed a surprise drug test.
Dos Santos (15-1) said he’s excited to face Velasquez -- “If there is anybody who can take me down, it’s him," he said -- but admits he’s looking forward to giving fans the fight they want against Overeem.
“All fans want to see this fight,” Dos Santos said. “We are both strikers so we could do a very good show. I think MMA fans want to see it and the UFC wants to give it to them.”
That doesn’t mean Dos Santos thinks Overeem deserves it. If the UFC does welcome back a suspended fighter with a title shot, it probably will raise questions as to what kind of message the promotion is sending.
Dos Santos has expressed his disdain for a fighter posting “fake wins” on his record while using a banned substance. Overeem maintains the failed drug test was an innocent mistake, the result of basically a lack of communication with his doctor.
Dos Santos sees a fighter who probably has been cheating for a long time.
“I think the same way as everyone,” Dos Santos said. “When you look at him, you already know that’s not natural. I’m pretty big too, but if you look at my body you can see I’m natural. I think you can’t get a body like his, naturally.”
When it comes to substance abuse in general, Dos Santos is a little split.
On one hand, he’s the heavyweight champion of the world. He’s supposed to be confident. At one point, he even said he doesn’t care if his opponents are on something, it still won’t help them in the cage.
Later in the conversation, though, his health was addressed. He’s 28 years old, meaning at least half his career probably is still ahead of him. What if half of those opponents are on something? It could affect his longevity -- and his overall health.
“I do think about that, for sure,” Dos Santos said. “It’s a problem, because sometimes the guy who is using those things can go further [in a fight].
“I think [substance abuse], it still happens now. We have a lot of fair fighters but sometimes, for sure, it happens.”
Dos Santos said if he is successful in defeating Vealsquez and does fight Overeem next, he will request they both undergo voluntary blood testing prior to the bout in addition to the urine testing administered by athletic commissions.
In his entire career, the Brazilian says he has actually never been offered illegal substances. Somehow, his path through MMA has avoided it completely.
If it ever happens, of course Dos Santos says he will pass. The competitor in him would hate to look at his record years from now and think part of it false.
“I don’t know the things athletes are using but I know they use it to get a better performance,” Dos Santos said. “I don’t need that. I train very well. When you are mentally weak, you think you need that.”