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ufc fight night 86

After an extended hiatus, the UFC returned Sunday with a special event from Croatia.

UFC Fight Night 86 went down for the very first time in the country, as the action took place inside the Zagreb Arena.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos ended the title hopes of Ben Rothwell for the time being, earning a decision in the main event. “Cigano” controlled the action, using his effective striking and keeping Rothwell from every threatening.

The loss snapped a four-fight win streak for Rothwell and improved dos Santos to 3-3 over his last six.

Derrick Lewis ended out string of decisions, slipping a right through to the chin of Gabriel Gonzaga in the co-main event and earning his sixth Octagon win. Lewis knocked out the former title contender, claiming another first round finish in the process and placing himself on the top line in terms of UFC knockouts since 2014 in all divisions with six.

Our first stoppage of the main card came by the doctor, as Curtis Blaydes’ was ruled unable to continue after his right eye swelled shut vs. Francis Ngannou. The French fighter from Cameroon was well on his way to a decision win at the time of the stoppage, which came between the second and third rounds.

Despite a nasty arm injury, Timothy Johnson fought his way to a decision over Octagon newcomer Marcin Tybura. Johnson, wearing his typical mustache, effectively negated the striking and takedown attempts of Tybura.

Igor Pokrajac earned his way back into the UFC, but he was unable to delight the hometown crowd, falling to Jan Blachowicz via decision. Pokrajac, from Zagreb, Croatia, pushed the heavy favorite to the distance.

Maryna Moroz opened up the main card with a decision win over Cristina Stanciu to improve to 7-1 and remain a contender in the strawweight division. The loss was the first of Stanciu’s career.

Veteran Zak Cummings dealt Nicolas Dalby his first pro defeat, earning a decision to complete the televised prelim lineup. Cummings used his experience to keep the explosive Dalby at bay.

Alejandro Perez used his ground skills to claim his 18th career win, finishing off Ian Entwistle with under a minute to go in the first round. Entwistle, a Brit, nearly secured a leg-lock in the early stages, but the power of Perez was too much.

Damian Stasiak opened up the televised fight portion of the prelims by locking in a rear-naked choke on Filip Pejic. Mairbek Taisumov showed off his power next, finishing Damir Hadzovic. Both bouts ended inside of the first round.

In early prelim action on UFC Fight Pass, Lucas Martins claimed a split decision over Robert Whiteford, Jared Cannonier finished Cyril Asker in the first round and Bojan Velickovic kicked things off with a decision over Alessio Di Chirico.

Lewis, Taisumov, Cannonier and Perez all earned “Performance of the Night” bonuses and an additional $50,000. The attendance was announced at 13,177 with a live gate of $549,000.

Complete results can be found below:

Junior dos Santos def. Ben Rothwell via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)

Derrick Lewis def. Gabriel Gonzaga via KO (strike) at 4:48 of Round 1

Francis Ngannou def. Curtis Blaydes via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 2

Timothy Johnson def. Marcin Tybura via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Jan Blachowicz def. Igor Pokrajac via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Maryna Moroz def. Cristina Stanciu via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Zak Cummings def. Nicolas Dalby via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Alejandro Perez def. Ian Entwistle via TKO (strikes) at 4:04 of Round 1

Mairbek Taisumov def. Damir Hadzovic via TKO (strikes) at 3:44 of Round 1

Damian Stasiak def. Filip Pejic via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:16 of Round 1

Lucas Martins def. Robert Whiteford via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

Jared Cannonier def. Cyril Asker via KO (strikes) at 2:44 of Round 1

Bojan Velickovic def. Alessio Di Chirico via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

michael bisping

The third installment in the “XXX” series will including UFC middleweight contender Michael Bisping.

“The Count” confirmed his acting gig on social media recently after hinting earlier in the week about being cast in a movie filming in Canada.

Bisping has picked up three wins in a row, highlighted by a February decision over Anderson Silva.

lookin for a fight

Dana White and company hit up Minnesota in the latest episode of “Lookin’ for a Fight,” taking in some cold winter weather.

Check things out in the video below:

ufc 200

Nate Diaz has had issues with UFC officials in the past over his contract, proposed fights and other items.

Now, coming off the biggest win of his career – and moving toward another mega-fight with Conor McGregor – Diaz is looking for some love.

And he’s not finding it from anyone with the UFC.

Diaz, who will rematch with McGregor on July 9 at UFC 200, told ESPN recently that he thinks the promotion is out to get him through “Notorious.”

“I swear to God, the UFC thinks it was an accident or something (that he beat McGregor),” Diaz said. “They think it was an accident, and now they’re saying, ‘Let’s get Nate back in there and take him out before he gets any bigger.’ I don’t think so. I’ve fought everyone in the UFC, and they better give me some (expletive) compliments if I win this fight.”

McGregor is the UFC featherweight champion, but just like the first encounter with Diaz, this one will go down at 170 pounds again. Diaz believes the Irish fighter knows he can’t change the rules if he really wants to avenge the loss.

“He knows that if he goes in and changes circumstances, then that’s weak,” Diaz said. “It’s not cool to go in and make your own set of rules because you lost on another set. If you’re going to avenge your loss, you’ve gotta go out and avenge it for real. It’s like a guy saying, ‘Let’s fight again, but no takedowns.’ That’s weak, and he knows that.”

wsof 30

The World Series of Fighting grabs the spotlight this weekend with WSOF 30.

Set from the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, the main card airs live on NBC Sports Network beginning at 11 p.m. ET.

In the main event, David Branch defends his middleweight – he is also the light heavyweight champion – belt against top contender Clifford Starks. The co-main features Jon Fitch vs. Joao Zeferino for the vacant welterweight title.

Below is the current lineup, along with a video preview:

MAIN CARD (NBC Sports Network/11:30 p.m. ET)

WSOF Middleweight Championship
David Branch (c) vs. Clifford Starks

Vacant WSOF Welterweight Championship
Jon Fitch vs. Joao Zeferino

Light Heavyweight: Vinny Magalhaes vs. Jake Heun

Middleweight: Abu Azaitar vs. Danny Davis, Jr.


Welterweight: Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs. Matt Frincu

Middleweight: Clinton Williams vs. Rex Harris

Lightweight: Steve Kozola vs. Matt Church

Flyweight: Carlos Garcia vs. Jason Pacheco

Bantamweight: Adam Aquaviva vs. Andres Ponce

Welterweight: Jeff Roman vs. Zach Bunnell

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