With UFC Fight Night 86 happening in Zagreb, Croatia on April. 10, marks another landmark event for the UFC promotion in their global expansion, bringing fight fans a heavyweight contender contest in Ben Rothwell vs. Junior dos Santos to headline the historical event.

Ben Rothwell (36-9 ) looked to secure a heavyweight title shot against former UFC heavyweight champion, Junior dos Santos (17-4 ) who himself had a lot on the line for the night of the fight.

On the main card portion of the event, there were six heavyweights squaring off not named Rothwell or dos Santos, Derrick Lewis (14-4) vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (17-10 ) is co-main. Gonzaga just snapped a three fight losing streak coming into this bout April. 10th. While Lewis will be looking to collect a victory here on what would easily be the biggest win of his career, and the right step while he wants to climb the ladder to a title shot.

MAIN CARD SUMMARY

Maryna Moroz vs. Cristina Stanciu

Round one begins, Moroz and Christina touch gloves and stand in the middle of the Octagon and slovly move in cirlecs before Christina starts attacking aggressively, punching Moroz back to the cage. Against the cage, Christina lands elbows and knees, before Moroz turns it around, having Christina against the cage, Christina ups up and grabs a hold of a guillotine, that doesn’t work out. Moroz is on-top with her leg stuck in the arms of Christina. Moroz eats some upkicks from Christina, making her sit down on Stancu, and hammer her stomach while sitting in the guard of Christine. Christine gets back up to her feet and they are back to the center.  They exchange a bit, but nothing lands. They clinch up, and go to the ground and Moroz lands an outside trip, getting Christina’s back with full bodylock from behind, Christina is defending the choke while eating some head-strikes from her back by Moroz. Ten seconds left and moroz cranks the neck without  success.

Round two, Christina and Moroz slowly steps up to the center,  a bit hesitant in their attacks. Moroz eats a hard right from Christina while coming in to deliver an uppercut of her own.  Moroz is a little more mobile in her movement than Christina by now as they move around inside the Octagon. Christinas explosiveness in her aggressive attacks in round one might have cost her some stamina in the later rounds. Moroz isn’t capitalizing on it and Christina comes forward and lands a combination, left right straight overhand.Christina jumps to guard, scramble for a Kneebar, then Moroz defends getting her back and ultimately ends up in mount of Christina with one minute left on the clock that is quickly counting down.Christina tries to hold on to the limbs of Moroz, before exploding back to her feet once more. Last 15 seconds and they Christina looks winded.

Last round, Christina comes out looking more tired than Moroz who is moving around better. A wardrobe miss-function monetarily holds the fight, Moroz fixes it, and they get back to throwing. Moroz lands a left hand, Moroz comes back with a front-kick as she runs after her. Moroz lands a counter. Christina lands a three leg kicks one after the another on Moroz, who clinch up, gets tagged by Christina on her way in, and Moroz drags both of them to the ground, gets Christina in an Armbar as de holds on trying to avoid it from getting fully locked down.It looks close, as Morox adjust her position. Christina lands a triangle on Moroz as her arm is locked up in Moroz Armbar. They looked like a tangled web as they hold on to each other. Its even had to figure out who is in most trouble, and as a write it, Moroz gets out and still keeps her Armbar attack, and now is even closer than it was before, Moroz face shows the strengths she puts in it, but the bell ends the fight before anyone could tap or get out.

Maryna Moroz def. Cristina Stanciu by Unanimous Dec (30-27,30-27,30-27)

Igor Pokrajac vs. Jan Blachowicz

Before he fight begins, Igor gets a huge ovation from the crowd. The first round begins with both men touching gloves and Igor goes for the attack, and they start swinging, more misses than hits, and Jan takes Igor to the ground. Lands in Igor’s full guard. Jan tries to get some ground and pound going, looking to get a better position, but Igor tangles them both up and defends most of the strikes. Jan gets into half-guard, the crowd are not happy as Igor gives up his back and Jan gets his feet in, and Igor reverse the position and now Jan is the man on the ground eating hard ground and pound from Igor. With every hit, the crowd groans in support for their native fighter. Igor lands an up-kick but Igor forces Jan knees in to his own face and Jan is now squeezed into the cage, making it hard for him to defend strikes and move. Igor is in half-guard of Jan, digging for under-hooks. Jan scoots his back to the fence, sitting on his bum with Igor hooking his legs together as the end of the rounds comes.

Round two, and Igor is the man on the attack, but eats counters as he comes in.Igor swings wild and hard, lands one, but eats one as well. A check left hook lands on Jans face, and Igor cliches up with Jan against the cage, starts wrestling a little, Jan turns Igor to the cage lands a beautiful combinations with hooks, but Igor comes back hard. And now they are swinging hard and WILD. Both men gets tagged and stopped in their flurry, but they keep engaging. The crowd loves it, but you can hear how their cheers goes up and down when their hometown hero lands and eats strikes. Igor comes back lands a fury, and Jan goes for a takedown, ending up in Igors full guard. Nothing really happeneds as they stay on the ground, the ref vars for inactivity, Jan stands back up just before getting right back down with a hard strike. Igor works his way back up, the fighters touch gloves in respect, the crowd is so load now. Jan lands a right hand, Igor goes on the aggressive attack, forcing Jan to the cage and they clinch up once more. Igor lands a knee and a combo, Jan gets a couple of significant strikes off himself, stopping Igors attach.

Round three and they once more touch gloves, Jan is circling on the outside, keeps his jab active. Against the cage, Jan is working for a takedown, trying to get some rest in, but the ref wants nothing of it. Igor splits them up, and goes for the Hail Mary alike attack, but this time Jan is the wiser, takes Igor down as he comes in. The crowd hates it, and boos and wisseling eccoes through the arena. Jan works his way to better position on the ground, getting a few strikes on Igor until he moves, than he secures the position with one minute left of the fight. Jan lands a few more hammerfists on Igor’s face, but Igor cant get this up on the feet. And the fight ends with the crowd applauding.

 Jan Blachowicz def. Igor Pokrajac by Unanimous Dec (29-28,29-28,29-28)

Timothy Johnson vs. Marcin Tybura

Round starts, Johnson and Tybura touch gloves and start feeling each other out with some jabs. Tybura lands a nice bodykick on Johnson. Johnson lands two left hooks after each other, but not too much behind it. Johnson lands another jab as Tybura comes in ‘, missing with his looping right hand. This contest has so far been in the middle of the cage, but as they clinch up they move to the cage, and Tybura is the one with his back against it and Johnson has the under-hooks. Landing some knees, body-punches from his left hand. Tybura change position, gets a sly knee to the body of Johnson. Ref are separating them based on inactivity against the age. Tybura has some luck with his bodykicks but the hands of Johnson appear to be hitting its target more often. Still, there are a lot of big hard swings and just as many misses before the round ends and we go to the next.

Round two, and Johnson ducks a combo from Tybura and lands a counter left hook, but again, does´t hit Tybura clean. But finaly he lands a hard punch on Tybura, and Tybura decides to clinch up with Johnson to get his marbles back as they are against the cage. Tybura turns them around, starts kneeing Johnson to the thigh, as he works for an takedown attempt.Tybura bleeds quite a bit from Johnsons previously left hand that landed. They are moving around in the Octagon now, Johnson being the more aggressive one, pursuing Tybura. Johnson’s corner asks for a hook than cross, showing the people watching at home from their cornerman. One minute left in the round, and Johns is still the one that has Octagon control by stalking Tybura. Tybura moves backward a lot. Johnson lands a nice combination just as the round ends.

Last round, they touch gloves for the last time as they stand in front of each other, Tybura is the one who attacks first, but nothing lands hard. Johnson takes the center again, trying to stalk Tybura, but a nicely timed takedown from Tybura puts  them down, and Tybura, still bleeding a lot, has the back of Johnson, who escapes and gets back on his feet. They clinch up in the middle as Johnson eats a hard knee to the breadbasket. Against the cage, Johnson has Tybura pressed against the fence for a short bit before the referee breaks them up again. Johnson shakes his left hand, signaling perhaps that is hurt. Tybura lands a big kick, and Johnson seems to be hurt, Tybura and Johnson are exchanging positions standing against the fence. Johnson has a big swelling around his left eye now. They split up, Tybura tries his frontkick on Johnson, but misses. The eye of Johnson looks bad, closing up in a rapid speed. Tybura lands a knee and left straight.  We are going to the scorecards.

Timothy Johnson def. Marcin Tybura by Unanimous Dec (29-28,29-28,29-28)

Francis Ngannou vs. Curtis Blaydes

Fight starts, Francis and Curtis touch gloves and Curtis lands a HARD jab on the nose of Francis, who took a step back. Curtis goes for a takedown, but Francis defends it well, but Curtis doesn’t give up that quick. Still working for underhooks, but Francis has him against the cage, making it harder for him to take down. Francis lands a nice hard elbow on the cheek of Curtis. They split, and goes back to the center, Francis lands a nice straight left on Curtis face. Any shot that lands, lands hard from both fighters. Francis wobble Curtis for a second it seems. but, right back in Curtis goes, and he heats a hard counter left from Francis who drops Curtis, who gets back up before Francis can get his hands on him, and they are clinching up against the fence, they separate, Francis is the one doing most of the stalking, but Curtis lands a nice takedown, and Francis working to get back up with the help of the fence behind him. But Curtis shuts his attempt down, bet Francis does´t give up on it, and finally gets out with 30 seconds left of round 1. A three punch combo lands for Francis as the bell sounds.

They meet in the middle again, Francis lands hard hooks, making Curtis bleed from his nose, and one of his eyes starts to swell up. The right eye of Curtis is closing, and Francis keeps throwing hard hooks to that damage area of Curtis. Curtis clinch up, goes for a takedown, that Francis try to sprawl out of, but Curtis reverse and take him down, but not for long as Francis gets back to his feet with under-hooks on Curtis. Half way through the round, and that right eye of Curtis is shut completely judging the way it looks from the screen I´m watching on.  Francis lands a hard right, Curtis gets a jumping straight himself. The fave of Curtis is a scary sight, Francis lands another nice straight left., followed up with a nice inside leg kick. Curtis is the one stalking, but the takedowns or strikes is not completely going the way he hoped. Francis stops the takedown attempt, attacks Curtis for the final seconds of the round.

Before round three is about to begin, the ref asks for the Doc to look at the right eye of Curtis, who says he can see, but the ref argues, telling the Doc that Curtis cant see, the Doc takes a second look and decides after talking to the referee again to call the fight, counting this as a TKO victory for Francis Ngannou.

Francis Ngannou def. Curtis Blaydes by TKO (Doctors stoppage) R2, 5:00

Derrick Lewis vs. Gabriel Gonzaga

Fight starts and they touch gloves, Gonzaga stays on the outside, Lewis throws a headkick and the big heavyweights clinch up against the fence, Gonzaga working to takes this down to the mat, and after some work gets it there and its four minutes left in the round. Gonzaga working his way to the mount, as he does that Lewis tries to escape but Gonzaga gets his back, and Lewis impressively gets them both up to the feet, but Gonzaga isnt letting go of his clinch. Lewis tries to land some hard elbows, and big right hands while Gonzaga keeps working to get this back down to the ground. Lewis is defending well and gets some offense in as the Ref separate them. Gonzaga shows a bloody nose. They clinch up once more, Lewis with his back against the cage. The ref tells Lewis that ‘Dont look at me, work your way out’, speaking to Lewis needs to escape without the Ref separating them. Gonzaga drops the ball by not being active enough so the ref decides to separate them. Lewis goes on the attack, lands a hard left hook followed up by a hard right hand that face-plants Gonzaga.

Derrick Lewis def Gabriel Gonzaga by knockout R1, 4:48

Ben Rothwell vs. Junior dos Santos

Round 1 – Referee gives the main even fighters a quick pep-talk, they touch gloves and the fights begins. They touch gloves again, Rothwell stalks JDS, taking the center, JDS keeps moving backwards looking to counter it seems, RothwThey tounch gloves, Ben goes back to stalk JDSell throws out a fronkick  to JDS and keeps stalking him. A minute and change in and JDS lands a nice hard straight to the stomach of ben.  Ben is still the one stalking his opponent. Two minutes in, and very little action has happened, until now when Ben just gites down on his mouthpiece and goes after JDS, lands a few nice once before JDS circles away.. JDS keeps lading that jab to the breadbasket of JDS. Rothwell lands headshot, but JDS keeps taking them well. Landing a nice hard left himself. With the orthodox stand up of Rothwell, keeps working for him as he moves his way close to JDS, sneaking a shot ot two in.Ben lands a hard elbow, JDS lands another jab – and another – and another, but this time to the head of Ben. Less than a minute, and Rothwell is trying to get JDs to come to him, but no. JDs moves backwards, and Ben keeps stalking. JDs keeps landing that straight punch to the belly of Ben, multiple times. And the first round is done

Round 2 – First 30 seconds go by without an attack from either fighter, than both misses with looping punches at the same time. JDS keeps finding success with that body jab to Rothwell who so far doesn’t seem to have any issues with it- Rothwell lands a hard bodykick with JDS against the fence and finish it with a nce punch. JDS lands a three punch combo himself.  Rothwell lands a legkick and a superman punch, JDS gives a hard back. Rothwell starts throwing more legkick to the outside of JDS left leg. JDS keeps moving on the outside and then tries to land his right hand. JDS gets poked in the eye, and the ref makes a timeout. In the replay it seems like Ben was innocent in that incident. The start up again with under two minutes left. And The right eye of Rothwell is starting to close up from the punches JDS has landed on it. Some blood is surrounding the nose of Rothwell. JDS lands another body-punch on Ben, and than a HARD punch and than kicks Rothwell down just before the round ends, making it the most action-packed part of these two rounds.

Round 3 – This time, although Ben is the one stalking JDS doesn’t move away as much, probably smelling a victory, but Big Ben is still very much in it. Nothing significant happens after two minutes in, until Rothwell goes on the aggressive and lands a short fury of hands, JDS moves than away from the fence. Rothwell is having a problem getting a hold of JDS as he keeps moving, and jabbing as he moves backwards. Now its JDS adds a few hard jabs to the face of Rothwell. JDS showcases some nice boxing, and movement away from the damage Ben can give someone who doesn’t have the same footwork. Round 3 is almost over, and the fight has looked very similar throughout, but the momentum is definitely with JDS so far. Who lands a spinning sidekick to the stomach of Ben before the round ends.

Round 4 – Rothwell goes back to stalking JDS, who continue his gameplan he has had since the beginning of the fight, strike move back, strike move away. JDS lands another fantastic sidekick that punches Ben backwards. ben runs in to a had straight from JDS. half the round has passed, and nothing has really landed for a awhile now, JDS seems in control though. Moving, lands a jab – repeat. Big Ben lands a hard right hand and misses with a kick. The face of Ben shows the damage JDS has made him pay for stalking him endlessly. With less than a minute left, JDS lands a few more nice punches before moving to safety from Rothwell’s counter attack.

Round 5 – Final round. Ben coaches tells him he needs a finish as he goes back out. Ben stalks, eats a few to the face for his efforts. Ben has some success when he throw cautious to the win, but it always cost him a few hard once from JDS. JDS lands a weak push-kick, but it does stop Ben for that split second. JDS lands a beautiful knee to the face of Rothwell as he comes in, again. Ben has less than two minutes if we believe his coaches, and from my chair, it does seem like Ben is waking an uphill mountain to get his desired victory, as he keeps eating those one punches from JDS. Land one – move away – Land one – move away. Rothwell throws himself, lands a hook, but JDS eats it without problems. One minute left. JDS throws a hard overhand that lands on Ben, who eats it. JDS trying a spin-kick, that misses.  Twenty seconds. JDS is looking to kick, but Rothwell keeps moving after JDS but eats more single punches to the face, and the final bell goes off. Fight over.

Junior dos Santos def. Ben Rothwell by Unanimous Dec (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)

FULL RESLUTS

Main Card

  • Junior dos Santos def. Ben Rothwell by Unanimous Dec (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
  • Derrick Lewis def Gabriel Gonzaga by knockout R1, 4:48
  • Francis Ngannou def. Curtis Blaydes by TKO (Doctors stoppage) R2, 5:00
  • Timothy Johnson def. Marcin Tybura by Unanimous Dec (29-28,29-28,29-28)
  • Jan Blachowicz def. Igor Pokrajac by Unanimous Dec (29-28,29-28,29-28)
  • Maryna Moroz def. Cristina Stanciu by Unanimous Dec (30-27,30-27,30-27)

Prelims

  • Zak Cummings def. Nicolas Dalby by Unanimous Dec (30-27, 30-27,30-27)
  • Alejandro Perez def. Ian Entwistle by Verbal submission (from strikes on the ground) R1,  4:04
  • Mairbek Taisumov def. Damir Hadzovic by Knockout R 1, 3:44
  • Damian Stasiak def. Filip Pejic by submission ( rear naked choke) R 1, 2:16

Early Prelims

  • Lucas Martins def. Rob Whiteford by Split Dec (29-28,28-29,30-27)
  • Jared Cannonier def. Cyril Asker by Knockout (Left hook and strikes/elbows on the ground) R 1, 2:44
  • Bojan Velickovic def. Alessio Di Chirico by unanimous decision (29-28,29-28,30-27)

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-.