In what was easily his best performance since 2012, Junior dos Santos out-worked Ben Rothwell for five rounds to win a clean sweep decision at UFC Fight Night 86 on Sunday from Zagreb, Croatia.
Dos Santos utilized superior footwork and boxing to pick Rothwell apart, working from the outside for much of the 25 minute fight. More than 40% of his offense was directed at the body, with jabs, kicks, and more working well to keep Rothwell out of range and off balance.
Rothwell managed to get in some offense sporadically, but it was the much more active dos Santos busting up Rothwell’s face and doing more and more damage as the fight went on. The win bounces dos Santos back from a TKO loss to Alistair Overeem in December, which came a year after a less convincing win over Stipe Miocic. It was perhaps his best all around win since defending his title against Frank Mir just over four years ago.
In other action on the main card, Derrick Lewis took out Gabriel Gonzaga with a late first round knock out, Francis Ngannou closed up Curtis Blaydes’ eye for a doctor stoppage, and Timothy Johnson, Jan Blachowicz, and Maryna Moroz scored main card decision wins.
[Junior dos Santos art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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