UFC Fight Night 86 Preview

Check out UFC Fight Night 86 on FoxSports 1 at 1pm on Sunday.
Check out UFC Fight Night 86 on Fox Sports 1 on Sunday at 1pm CST for free.

By Kyler Kuehler

UFC Fight Night: Rothwell vs. dos Santos will air on Sunday April 10, 2015 in Zagreb, Croatia.

#4 BEN ROTHWELL (36-9-0) vs #5 JUNIOR “CIGANO” DOS SANTOS (17-4-0)
This is a five round main event in the heavyweight division. In this fight are two heavyweights that have been on different sides of the leader board their entire careers, but now they finally are side by side and will face each other for the first time to see who really is the better of the two. Rothwell brings boxing, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu and wrestling that has lead him to an impressive record of 36 wins of his 45 fights with his latest victories over big names like Alistair Overeem, Matt Mitrione and Josh Barnett. Dos Santos brings boxing and jiu-jitsu that has lead him to becoming an impressive knockout striker as well as a former UFC Heavyweight Champion. With dos Santos being very well-rounded in his striking as well as takedown defense he looks to be the heavy favorite and take the fight with ease. Though we cannot forget the two brutal beatings he took by the hands of former champion Cain Velasquez that changed his career and his performance altogether as was shown in his fights against Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem. With that in mind Rothwell just might have a chance to stand up to the former champion and walk away with a huge win under his belt thus possibly granting him a title shot in the near future. However dos Santos is a tough fighter and even though he is not the same fighter that he once was first entering the UFC he still has plenty of fight left in him. My prediction: dos Santos wins via knockout in Round 2.

DERRICK “THE BLACK BEAST” LEWIS (14-4-0, 1 NC) vs GABRIEL “NAPAO” GONZAGA (17-10-0)
This is a three round fight in the heavyweight division. In this fight are two heavyweights that are looking to show that they are more than just heavy hitters and that they can do everything that the lighter weight classes can do. Lewis brings boxing that has made him an efficient striker with deadly knockout power that has been shown to be lethal in every fight. Gonzaga brings judo and jiu-jitsu that has lead him to be efficient in both knockout and submission techniques making him a skillful heavyweight competitor. With both fighters having a strong standing game, this fight looks to be a fight about who can hit the hardest and who has the stronger chin. If the fight leans towards stronger striking Gonzaga looks to be the favorite with his powerful leg kicks that he is known for. However, Lewis has just as much power in his strikes as Gonzaga has in his leg kicks and so if he managed to keep Gonzaga at a distance to where he could sneak some deadly strikes he could walk away with a big win under his belt. Though in order to do so he will have to watch for the power that Gonzaga will put into his striking because if he doesn’t then Lewis will find himself at the bottom of the leader board thus having to work his way back into fights with upper opponents. My prediction: Gonzaga wins via knockout in Round 1.

IGOR “THE DUKE” POKRAJAC (25-12-0, 1 NC) vs JAN BLACHOWICZ (18-5-0)
This is a three round fight in the light heavyweight division. In this fight are two fighters that are known well in the UFC and to the sport of MMA, but look to have their name heard on the first ever Croatia card by putting on one hell of a performance. Pokrajac brings Muay Thai, boxing as well as submission skills that have helped him become well equipped in knockout power with a combination of grappling techniques. Blachowicz brings striking and jiu-jitsu that have made him efficient in all three methods of victory giving him skill sets on both feet and ground. With this fight being a combination of a grappler against a striker the fight looks to not be a great matchup as it will most likely be a domination performance on the feet or ground depending on who manages to play the fight in their favor. If the fight remains on their feet, Pokrajac looks to have the advantage with his striking setups. If the fight were to go to the ground then it looks to fall in Blachowicz’s favor with his style of grappling techniques that would surely put Pokrajac in a world of trouble. Though in order to do so he will have to avoid his striking techniques in order to get a takedown set up to bring the fight to the ground so he could walk away with another win under his belt. My prediction: Blachowicz wins via submission in Round 3.