As much as I've been complimentary of Junior dos Santos' English, it's not at the point where he's able to really do English-language media. More to the point: he's no Brock Lesnar. The biggest pay-per-view draw in the UFC is doing all of the heavy (and non-heavy) lifting in terms of promoting this upcoming season of Spike TV's 'The ultimate Fighter', but his fight against rival coach Junior dos Santos at UFC 131 early this summer.
To help move that process along, the former UFC heavyweight champion went to Bristol, Connecticut today and was a guest this morning on ESPN's SportsCenter program. He answered a fair number of early tough questions, most notably about learning from the loss to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121, whether he's truly committed to mixed martial arts and the UFC, if he's interested in returning to professional wrestling and more. Bloody Elbow has a brief recap of his statements:
"I just need to get more comfortable. I've been thrown to the wolves; I wouldn't have it any other way."
"(dos Santos) is a tough match-up. I'm facing a guy with heavy hands. I'm going to have to come in and force myself to be comfortable. Win this fight, get another change to face Cain Velasquez and get my title back. That's my mission."
"Junior dos Santos look out, here I come."
I'm not seeing a ton of buzz for this season of TUF, but perhaps this late push by Lesnar will help. Still, if he's this calm, cool and collected, will that really buoy ratings? I certainly think it'll be good for pay-per-view draws come June when he faces dos Santos as the media ubiquity is probably more important that attractive or repellant persona. I wonder, though, about what kinds of ratings this season will pull. We shall see.
As for the appearance on ESPN, full video below: