UFC Boise: Junior dos Santos Rolls by Bulgarian Blagoy Ivanov by Unanimous Decision
Junior dos Santos did everything he needed to do to procure a win after a layoff of more than a year. Then, he made a promise to fans.
“I’ll be even better for the next one,” dos Santos said.
The former UFC heavyweight champion beat Blagoy Ivanov by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) in a solid, if unspectacular performance in the UFC Boise main event Saturday night in Idaho. Dos Santos did win every round, but Ivanov showed a very good chin and rocked the Brazilian on several occasions throughout with left hands. It was the first victory for “Cigano” since April 2016 against Ben Rothwell.
Dos Santos opened up a cut on Ivanov’s left eye early in the fight and clearly took the first two rounds. Ivanov rallied in the third with big blows, but that was only after dos Santos did damage to that eye with a right hand, forcing Ivanov to act almost as if he was poked in it. The fourth and fifth rounds were low on activity. But dos Santos did enough with his jab keeping Ivanov honest to win them.
Dos Santos (19-5) has not fought since a title loss to Stipe Miocic at UFC 211 in May 2017. In the latter part of the last year and the beginning of 2018, he was dealing with a failed drug test that he was later cleared for by USADA after an investigation. Dos Santos, 34, said Saturday that he’d like a trilogy matchup with Miocic next, since they are 1-1 against one another.
Ivanov (16-2, 1 NC) had won five straight coming in and was coming off a run as the World Series of Fighting heavyweight champion. The Bulgaria native is known as one of the toughest, most durable fighters in the division. Ivanov, 31, has a combat sambo victory over Fedor Emelianenkoon his résumé. This was his UFC debut.
Source: MMA Fighting
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