With the most coveted coaching spots in the history of “The Ultimate Fighter” at his disposal, UFC president Dana White opted to reward a humble heavyweight that didn’t have to fight anyone but champion Cain Velasquez.
Junior dos Santos earned his top contender status after posting a unanimous decision victory over former IFL title holder Roy Nelson at UFC 117. The Brazilian was hoping to don the bling-bling belt in early 2011, but a shoulder injury will keep the king out for several months.
Instead of riding the pine alongside Velasquez, 2Santos said he had no intention of remaining stagnant. Greatness waits for no man, and neither do bill collectors.
“To put this guy on the shelf for a long time is ridiculous, and much credit to him for not wanting to go on the shelf,” White said of dos Santos during Tuesday’s conference call. “We’ve seen guys who have been in similar situations that say, ‘You know what? I’ll just sit out and wait.’
“Sitting out and waiting is insane.”
Dos Santos’ fighting spirit not only won him the gig, but unprecedented exposure as he’ll coach opposite Brock Lesnar. Having his face plastered across what’s expected to be a record-setting audience should do wonders for his marketing dollars.
The 265-pounders will do battle once filming wraps on the reality show. White was emphatic the showdown would happen in June, likely at UFC 131 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.