Heavyweight, Heavyweight, Heavyweight etc. – UFC Zagreb Preview

Sunday night will see the UFC make its first foray into Croatia, with a Fight Pass card in Zagreb. The headline fight is a heavyweight contest between a former champion in Junior dos Santos, and an aspiring contender in Ben Rothwell. Coming into this fight, these two heavyweights couldn’t be further apart in their form with dos Santos going 2-3 in his last five fights and Ben Rothwell on a four-fight win streak dating back to 2013.

By Dom Bury @Domb18

Both of these fighters hit hard, as do most heavyweights, but Junior dos Santos has the better boxing of the pair and will no doubt look to use this to finish the fight early on. However, if Ben Rothwell can weather the initial storm, he’s got a great chance of finishing the former champ. Rothwell’s jiu jitsu has been catching opponents out of nowhere in recent fights and if he can grab hold of dos Santos’ neck, then we could be looking at our next number one contender. Dos Santos will be looking to climb back to the top of the mountain and a win over Rothwell would certainly help him get there, but judging on recent performances, he’s going to be the underdog coming in to this fight.

In the co-main event, Derrick Lewis is stepping in to face Gabriel Gonzaga in a fight that is going to end early, one way or another. Lewis possesses serious power in his striking, however has shown in previous fights that he’s susceptible to a KO himself. Gonzaga is 1-3 coming in to this fight and is looking at being released should he lose. With that in mind, Gonzaga should be keen to put on a good performance but it’s hard to look past Lewis in this fight.

The rest of the card features European talent designed to bring in a crowd, but keep an eye on Ian Entwistle, Mairbek Taisumov, Nicholas Dalby and a strawweight fight between Cristina Stanciu and Maryna Moroz which  – if their previous fights are anything to go by – should end quickly.