It was a make-or-break moment for former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos on Sunday at UFC Fight Night 86 in Zagreb, Croatia. Dos Santos had to face and get past surging contender Ben Rothwell if he was to ever live up to his statements that he’d rise to the top of the division again.
And, lucky for the man known as “Cigano,” he did just that, earning a hard-fought but dominant unanimous decision win over Rothwell in the night’s main event.
While there’s no guarantee he’ll get a title shot from the victory, it was a massively important fight to prove he belongs at the top of the division after many speculated wars with Cain Velasquez and Stipe Miocic had taken the Brazilian’s best from him.
In defeating Rothwell, dos Santos showed his trademark jab, excellent footwork and overall superior striking. It was the kind of performance that inspires confidence and vaults him back to the elite of the UFC’s heavyweight division.
“It’s always good to go to the body especially when you’re fighting a huge guy like him,” dos Santos said of his relentless body work against Rothwell. “Like I was saying, you can’t collide with those guys. I used my footwork and throw some hard jabs and punches. It worked well. Thank God, I won.”
With this fight, dos Santos showed offensive patience. It’s also a bout where he reunited with his long-time coach Luiz Dorea. Dos Santos noted he believes he’s finally got the right system in place to push him as far as he wants to go in the sport.
“I think I’m doing good now. It’s hard,” he said. “I know I have to improve in my skills. Not just my boxing skills, my wrestling, my jiu-jitsu, but I can’t go away from boxing. I have ….View full article
Source:: mma fighting