Dos Santos animated about Fox TV bout


One of the foremost reasons Junior dos Santos is so eager to participate in the Ultimate Fighting Championship's first network television card is the amount of exposure he'll gain.

Promos and commercials for his heavyweight title bout against champion Cain Velasquez on Nov. 12 at Anaheim, Calif., have been airing on Fox programming since the moment the fight was announced.

"(The Fox deal) means a lot for me and Cain and for the whole sport. It's going to be great. It's a big step. I am very happy," dos Santos said.

With a shy laugh, the 27-year-old Brazilian added, "I will get more famous."

Dos Santos has made himself more marketable not only by going 7-0 in the UFC, but by learning to speak English. Coincidentally, Fox assisted him in that aspect as well.

"I always liked to watch cartoons. After I started to learn English. I loved watching (popular Fox shows) 'Simpsons' and 'Family Guy,' and I tried to really pay attention to the words in the show," he said. "Sometimes, if I heard words I didn't know, I would go to the computer and try to type the words and figure them out, so I can learn the meaning."

His favorite characters are Peter Griffin and Bart Simpson, who is "so crazy," dos Santos said with a big laugh.

He said seeing himself in commercials on Fox has been a dream come true, but winning the heavyweight title on a card that draws big ratings for the network could help him toward another milestone reserved for only the biggest celebrities and star athletes: being a character on "The Simpsons."

It's a possibility dos Santos had not even considered.

"Wow," he said. "That would be amazing."

■ HENDERSON RETURNS-- Free agent Dan Henderson has signed with the UFC and will fight former light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in the main event of UFC 139 in San Jose, Calif., on Nov. 19.

Henderson was the Strikeforce light heavyweight champ, but his contract with the organization ended after a second-round knockout of Fedor Emelianenko in July.

Henderson, 41, was 3-2 in his most recent UFC stint, which ended at UFC 100 in 2009.

■ 'TUF 14' DEBUTS -- Season 14 of "The Ultimate Fighter" debuts at 9 p.m. Wednesday with a two-hour episode of bantamweight and featherweight bouts to determine which fighters will move into the Las Vegas house for six weeks of filming.

The season, the last on Spike TV before moving to FX, promises to be entertaining with the lighter weight fighters and the verbal abilities and conflicting personalities of coaches Michael Bisping and Jason "Mayhem" Miller.

"Jason's one of those guys where you either love him or hate him. I definitely hate him," Bisping said. "I think most people around him find him very annoying. I know most people on the show did. I sure did."

Miller said he didn't go into the show with a preconceived notion about Bisping, despite his reputation.

"I gave Mike the benefit of the doubt, but he fully proved to be a (jerk) by Week 2," he said.

After the season wraps, Bisping will fight Miller on Dec. 3 at the Palms.

■ STRIKEFORCE CHALLENGERS -- The Strikeforce Challengers series returns to Las Vegas for a card at the Palms on Friday.

Unbeaten light heavyweight prospect Lorenz Larkin was scheduled to meet Virgil Zwicker in the main event, but Zwicker was forced to pull out of the fight last week. Larkin will now face Nick Rossborough.

Ryan Couture, the 29-year-old son of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, will be in action in a lightweight bout against Maka Watson.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.

 

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