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UFC Fight Night 86 preview, quick picks for 'Rothwell vs Dos Santos' on FOX Sports 1

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At first glance, there's not a whole lot going on at UFC Fight Night 86 that would compel you to sacrifice a Sunday afternoon. Unless, of course, you're have no life and no plans (guilty) and can sit around the house watching mixed martial arts (MMA) all day.

Because fuck chores, someone is getting punched.

That said, the heavyweight main event pitting Ben Rothwell against Junior dos Santos, going down April 10 on FOX Sports 1 inside Zagreb Arena in Croatia, has serious ramifications in the heavyweight division, especially when you consider that everyone in the top seven of the division (see it) -- including the champion -- is competing between now and UFC 200.

That means one of our two headliners will be eliminated from the 265-pound title chase after the curtain falls in Zagreb.

In the UFC Fight Night 86 co-main event, Gabriel Gonzaga will oppose streaking slugger Derrick Lewis. The stakes are not as high for these two behemoths, but a win does position the victor for a spot in the top 15. Hey, just look at what's doing in the bottom five.

Roy Nelson, Antonio Silva, Ruslan Magomedov, Alexey Oleinik, and the since-departed Jared Rosholt.

Definitely a spot up for grabs when the new rankings come out early next week. With that in mind, I'll be focusing on the two marquee fights, then drop some quick picks for the rest of the major players.

Let's get crackin'.

265 lbs.: "Big" Ben Rothwell (36-9) vs. Junior "Cigano" dos Santos (17-4)

Nostradumbass predicts: Junior dos Santos, in my opinion, has been ruined. That's a damn shame, too, because he was one of the scariest motherfuckers on the planet for like four years straight, culminating in back-to-back knockout wins over Cain Velasquez and Frank Mir.

Just in case you forgot what "Cigano" was capable of, click here.

Then came his sequel against Velasquez, followed by the rubber match. After 10 rounds of action, Dos Santos absorbed a total of 484 blows, 178 of those landing on the head or face. That's the kind of thing that can shorten a career (and maybe even a life).

Sorry, but 2012 "Cigano" doesn't get knocked out by Alistair Overeem.

I'm not saying "Demolition Man" couldn't have beaten him, but the strikes that finished the job last December were nothing the Brazilian hadn't already eaten -- unfazed -- in multiple fights across his career. And you can call it a win at UFC on FOX 13, but Dos Santos looked like trash against Stipe Miocic.

I do not have high hopes for this fight.

Especially the way Rothwell has been performing over the past couple of years. Anyone who knows the fight game will tell you what confidence can do for a fighter's trajectory and brother, "Big" Ben is riding high as a kite after choking out Josh Barnett.

Prior to that he finished Matt Mitrione and "The Reem."

His cardio is not exactly the stuff of legend and he becomes increasingly less effective as the fight wears on, but I'm not sure it will matter this Sunday in Zagreb. Because of his sneaky submission game, some folks forget that he's a dangerous puncher with 20 knockouts in 36 wins.

Make in 21 in 37.

While it wouldn't surprise me to see Dos Santos caught in a guillotine, I think the more probable scenario is Rothwell winning on his feet. "Cigano" is a boxer and always has been, and doesn't know -- or want to know -- any other way to win.

Unfortunately he no longer has the chin to bail him out of trouble.

Final prediction: Rothwell def. Dos Santos via technical knockout

265 lbs.: Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga (17-10) vs. Derrick "Black Beast" Lewis (14-4, 1 NC)

Nostradumbass predicts: Gabriel Gonzaga is perhaps best known for his stunning, head kick knockout win over Mirko Filipovic at UFC 70. The fact that we have nothing else to talk about regarding the Brazilian's career nearly nine years later should give you an indication of where I'm headed with this prediction.

Think about it, "Napao" has been competing inside the Octagon (on and off) for over a decade and he's not even ranked in the top 15. Furthermore, he's got terrible cardio, dropped three of his last four, and has been knocked out in eight of his 10 total losses.

Those are the facts.

Gonzaga, for all his faults, is an outstanding grappler. Event headliner Ben Rothwell found that out the hard way back in 2013. He also hits like a Mack truck, scoring knockout wins over the likes of Dave Herman and Shawn Jordan, among others.

This is the part where I mention Derrick Lewis having a three-inch reach advantage.

The "Black Beast" is by no means a perfect fighter and when you live by the sword, you die by the sword, which is why Lewis -- with a staggering 13 knockouts in 14 wins -- was himself put on ice by Matt Mitrione and the aforementioned Jordan.

Getting slept by Gonzaga is not out of the realm of possibility.

The bad news for the Brazilian is he doesn't have the chin to weather any kind of storm, nor does he have the type of collegiate wrestling background that would give him the ability to drive his opponent into the fence and score a game-changing takedown.

Sure, he can grapple, but "Napao" loves to stand and trade.

He's going to get his wish on fight night, but it's only a matter of time before he runs out of gas or available real estate. Either way, Lewis will have him looking up at the lights by the end of round one.

Final prediction: Lewis def. Gonzaga via knockout

265 lbs.: Francis Ngannou (6-1) vs. Curtis "Razor" Blaydes (5-0)

Nostradumbass predicts: Not much is known about Curtis Blaydes but the contacts I don't have and never spoke to on the regional circuit insist he's going to be a major player in the heavyweight division. That's the kind of talk you can expect after winning five straight fights by way of knockout.

But he's going to have to fight fire with fire.

Ngannou is a physical specimen and a terrifying striker in his own right, showing off his power during last December's murder-death-kill over Luis Oliveira. "Blaydes" may be as sharp as advertised and anything can happen when heavyweight fists start flying, but I have to lean toward the fighter who already has Octagon experience.

Final prediction: Ngannou def. Blaydes via knockout

265 lbs.: Timothy Johnson (9-2) vs. Marcin "Tybur" Tybura (13-1)

Nostradumbass predicts: There's no way I'm picking against Timothy Johnson, because he looks like that bare-knuckle brawler who got his face chopped off in Raiders of the Lost Ark. So unless he's fighting Indiana Jones -- which he's not -- then I don't expect Marcin Tybura to have much of a chance.

Johnson, who finished all nine of his wins in violent fashion, is coming off a decision loss to Jared Rosholt, but Poland's "Tybur" has never competed inside the Octagon and is only one fight removed from a technical knockout defeat to the unheralded Stephan Puetz.

Considering their combined finishing rates, the only thing that would come as a surprise in this fight is a decision.

Final prediction: Johnson def. Tybura via knockout

205 lbs.: Jan Blachowicz (18-5) vs. Igor "The Duke" Pokrajac (28-12, 1 NC)

Nostradumbass predicts: Igor Pokrajac was able to work his way back into UFC by winning three straight fights -- all of them finishes -- on the local circuit. It also helps that he's from Zagreb, but I have a hard time ignoring the fact that he was sent packing in 2014 after dropping five straight.

Jan Blachowicz was hot shit on the Polish scene, ripping it up for KSW while nabbing multiple submission wins. Despite a great start against Ilir Latifi, he failed to live up to the hype in consecutive losses to the tough but not otherworldly Jimi Manuwa and Corey Anderson.

While they match up pretty evenly in terms of skill sets, I favor the younger, fresher Blachowicz, who recently changed training camps and is now taking a smarter approach to preparation.

Final prediction: Blachowicz def. Pokrajac via unanimous decision

115 lbs.: Maryna "Iron Woman" Moroz (6-1) vs. Cristina "Barbie" Stanciu (5-0)

Nostradumbass predicts: I don't like to stereotype which is why I didn't do that dumb Dracula voice when pronouncing Cristina Stanciu's name -- simply because she's from Romania. Then I saw her picture (click here) and well, not sure where that "Barbie" nickname came from.

Unless it's the vampire Barbie they released in 2013.

Stanciu is making her UFC debut after five straight wins for Romanian Xtreme Fighting (RXF) while Ukraine's Maryna Moroz is now three fights into her Octagon career. I'm leaning toward the "Iron Woman" because of her win over Joanna Calderwood, as well as her gritty performance in defeat to top contender Valerie Letourneau.

She also holds a considerable size and reach advantage, so this should be fairly one-sided.

Final prediction: Moroz def. Stanciu via unanimous decision

There you have it.

For a closer look at the UFC Fight Night 86 "Prelims" click here and here. Odds and betting lines for all the "Zagreb" action can be found here.

Now then, you've heard my picks. It's time to hear yours.

Who ya' got?

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