Junior Dos Santos put on a boxing clinic in his main event showdown with Ben Rothwell in Croatia, winning the bout by unanimous decision.
Scoring 50-45 on all three judges scorecards, ‘Cigano’ controlled the fight from start to finish. Dos Santos’ chin has been questioned in recent years after dropping three of his last five fights, with the last two losses coming by KO.
Dos Santos, who had only lost one of his 16 fights previous to losing his title to Cain Velasquez, has struggled since then to look his best. Junior claimed before last nights bout that he was back to his best and he backed up that statement by picking apart Rothwell, who had finished his previous four opponents.
— UFC (@ufc) April 10, 2016
Dos Santos landed several jabs and body shots to pick Rothwell apart, in particular hurting Big Ben with straight shots to the body. Rothwell’s movement was notably stunted from the beginning of the second round, but he persevered to the final bell even after taking so much punishment.
At the end of the second round, Dos Santos landed an over hand right followed by push kick knocking Rothwell off his feet. The move was likened on Twitter to the “This Is Sparta” kick.
— UFC_News (@_UFC_News_) April 10, 2016
OMG. What a "THIS IS SPARTA" kick at the end of the round!!! #UFCZagreb
— The Spartan (@EliasTheodorou) April 10, 2016
THIS IS SPARTA!!! #UFCZagreb
— Tommy Toe Hold (@TommyToeHold) April 10, 2016
Ranked number five going into the fight, Junior Dos Santos will probably be looking down the rankings and not up, as everyone ranked above him is booked for a fight.
The fight that makes the most sense for the Brazilian is probably a rematch with Mark Hunt, who he KO’d at UFC 160 three years ago. Hunt is coming off two wins against Bigfoot Silva and Frank Mir. Hunt, at 42, is looking to make one last title run, and a win over JDS would get him right back in the title picture.