With UFC Fight Night 86 happening in Zagreb, Croatia on April. 10, marks another landmark event for the UFC promotion in their global expansion, and they are bringing a lot of heavyweights for the occasion.

The heavyweight title picture is a bit foggy at the moment when it comes to who the next obvious contender is out of Rothwell – dos Santos – Overeem – Arlovski. Coming match-ups will give us a clearer picture of who the next guy in line is depending on their performance. Scheduled first out of those are ‘Big’ Ben Rothwell vs. Junior dos Santos, and they are headlining this card on Sunday, April  10.

Four wins in a row now for he who has declared war on the entire heavyweight division, the man we all know as ‘Big’ Ben. A veteran that has shown in his most recent fights that he still has a few new tricks up his sleeve.

Even before joining UFC, Rothwell had 11 submission victories to his résumé, but before his past two fights, when we all probably thought that if there is one thing you need to be careful of if you face him, it’s his standup. Two ‘Gogo chokes’ (also known as the ‘Bear-trap’) later (over Matt Mitrione and most recently handling Josh Barnett’s first definitive submission defeat inside of a MMA bout. Not counting Barnett’s submission defeats listed on his Sherdog profile,as they were ‘submission’ victories by punches and shoulder injury) and now everyone who hasn’t already taken notice of Rothwell’s devastating submission game, are now late to the party.

A confident Rothwell with a lot of momentum is facing former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, who looks to regain some confidence with a victory and hopefully, simultaneously, silence the critics who says he’s finished as a potential future champion. That the damage he took in the fights with Cain Velasquez, Stipe Miocic and Overeem changed the fighter that we all once saw as unstoppable when he first made his way to UFC gold back in Nov, 2011. Dos Santos is coming into this contest with something to prove, and he knows that, but will he be able to handle the pressure that comes along with having that knowledge?

Even with the intriguing and evenly matched heavyweight contender fight as the main-event, we still have more things to look forward too, for starters, the main event is only one out of five heavyweight match-ups UFC booked for Sunday’s UFC’s Fight Night event in Zagreb, Croatia;

 

  • *Lewis Vs. Gonzaga - *Ngannou Vs. Blaydes - *Tybura Vs. Johnson - Asker Vs. Cannonier

 (*Fighting on the main-card)

In the one and only female bout on Sunday’s UFC card, we’ll see the 6-1 strawweight Maryna Moroz making her return after the first loss in her career, and she taking on an undefeated fighter making her UFC debut on UFC FN 86, 5-0 Cristina Stanciu.

It should be pointed out that only two hometown fighters are booked for the event.

His first fight back to UFC, winning his past three after getting released back in Jan, 2015, by UFC after going winless in his last five UFC bouts is 37-year-old light heavyweight, Igor Pokrajac.

Second fighter fighting out of Croatia is 10-1-1 featherweight Filip Pejic, who is making his debut in the promotion.

 

Full UFC Fight Night 86 lineup:

UFC Fight Night 86 – Main Card (Live on BT Sport Europe 7 PM BST)

 

  • Ben Rothwell vs. Junior dos Santos
  • Derrick Lewis vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
  • Francis Ngannou vs. Curtis Blaydes
  • Timothy Johnson vs. Marcin Tybura
  • Igor Pokrajac vs. Jan Blachowicz
  • Maryna Moroz vs. Cristina Stanciu

 

 

Prelims (BT Sport App Prelims 5 PM BST)

 

  • Nicolas Dalby vs. Zak Cummings
  • Ian Entwistle vs. Alejandro Perez
  • Mairbek Taisumov vs. Damir Hadzovic
  • Filip Pejic vs. Damian Stasiak

 

Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass 3:30 PM BST)

 

  • Rob Whiteford vs. Lucas Martins
  • Jared Cannonier vs. Cyril Asker
  • Alessio Di Chirico vs. Bojan Velickovic

 

 

About The Author

Christian Larusson
Staff Writer

Christian Larusson is a passionate Mixed Martial Arts fan. With experience in writing for Swedish MMA sites, he now solely writes in English through blogging, PunchDrunkSports and The MMA Corner. Got his heart broken early in his life when a friend, ‘Judas’, told him that WWE/WWF wasn’t real. Then one day, he saw MMA on a friend's computer, he was overwhelmed with emotions from what his eyes had just seen. He´s been in love ever since. Christian has been published in different Swedish papers and books, nothing to do with MMA though, so who gives a shh-.