Junior dos Santos just defeated Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 86 in Zagreb, Croatia. Throughout the entire fight, dos Santos appeared in control and his lean physique and numerous body and facial blows to Rothwell took their toll. Enough so, in fact, that JDS was able to win by a unanimous decision.
In defeating Rothwell, dos Santos showed his trademark jab, excellent footwork, and overall superior striking. It was the kind of performance that inspires confidence, and vaults him back to the elite of the UFC's heavyweight division:
"It's always good to go to the body especially when you're fighting a huge guy like him. Like I was saying, you can't collide with those guys. I used my footwork and throw some hard jabs and punches. It worked well. Thank God, I won."
With this fight, dos Santos showed offensive patience. It's also a bout where he reunited with his long-time coach Luiz Dorea. Dos Santos noted he believes he's finally got the right system in place to push him as far as he wants to go in the sport.
I think I'm doing good now. It's hard. I know I have to improve in my skills. Not just my boxing skills, my wrestling, my jiu-jitsu, but I can't go away from boxing. I have to know jiu-jitsu and wrestling, but I'm a boxing guy. I have to keep it there because I'm more confident. I'm feeling good. I think at this time now we are putting everything in the right place.
Ben Rothwell was a worthy opponent for dos Santos, and it was a unanimous decision, but that doesn't mean it wasn't an evenly matched or even a close fight.
That being said, dos Santos certainly respects Rothwell, and showed it in his talk after the fight.
Like I used to say: a fight's a fight, you never know what's going to happen, right? I had my strategy. I'm a boxing guy. I like to move a lot and throw some hard punches. That was my strategy, to move a lot, take advantage of the whole Octagon. I think everything went very well.
Ben Rothwell is a beast, like he says he is. He's very, very tough. Hits hard and as he normally does, he walks forward all the time. He was putting some pressure, so I had to move a lot. My strategy worked very well.
Dos Santos isn't too concerned with a title shot... yet.
What do you think?
Should Junior dos Santos get a shot immediately for the belt now that he's proven to be one of the most dangerous Heavyweights out there?