UFC Champ Junior dos Santos Headed for Surgery

Junior dos Santos, fresh off capturing the UFC heavyweight title from Cain Velasquez, is headed to the sidelines.

Although he injured his knee just 11 days prior to the UFC on Fox main event, he stuck it out, capturing the belt in the process. But he won’t be seeing the inside of the Octagon again anytime soon, as he is instead headed for the operating table.

“He’s gonna make the surgery soon,” Brazilian journalist Marcelo Alonso said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Show with Mauro Ranallo. “He didn’t say exactly when, but he’s gonna make the surgery.”

That’s not really a surprise, considering dos Santos was on crutches a mere 11 days prior to the fight with Velasquez.

“When Cain was throwing some kicks, I was worried about that because Junior tore his meniscus before the fight, 11 days ago,” the new champ’s training partner, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, told MMAWeekly.com after the fight. “So he was on crutches for a while.”

Depending upon the extent of the injury and the duration of the recovery time, the surgery shouldn’t interfere all that much with the timeline for dos Santos’ first defense, anyway.

It would be ideal for him to defend the belt on his home turf when UFC 142 lands in Brazil in January, but that wouldn’t have happened even if dos Santos were healthy. UFC president Dana White has declared that the Dec. 30 fight between former UFC champion Brock Lesnar and former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem at UFC 141 will determine the first challenger to dos Santos’ belt.