Junior dos Santos Gets Lopsided Win Over Blagoy Ivanov in UFC Boise Headliner

Following more than a year away from the sport, Junior dos Santos returned with a win by unanimous decision over UFC newcomer Blagoy Ivanov in the main event from Boise

Junior dos Santos made his long awaited return to the Octagon on Saturday night and got the job done in lopsided fashion.

After spending the last 14 months on the shelf, dos Santos got back in action at UFC Fight Night from Boise, Idaho and spent the better part of 25 minutes in control over newcomer Blagoy Ivanov in the main event.

While dos Santos is best known for his fight ending power, the Brazilian is also well regarded as one of the best boxers in the entire UFC and he showed why with a diverse striking attack on Saturday night.

Rather than gun for the knockout, dos Santos methodically picked Ivanov apart from the outside while feeding the Bulgarian heavyweight a steady diet of straight punches and several shots to the body.

Dos Santos’ best weapon all night was a straight jab that continuously popped Ivanov in the face as the former World Series of Fighting champion struggled to get out of the way of that snapping punch that kept finding a home.

Ivanov did manage to land a few stinging overhand rights that caught dos Santos and even opened up a cut on his forehead, but the damage was minimal.

For the majority of the fight, dos Santos steadily unleashed his striking combinations, landing with accuracy and good pop behind all of his punches.

By the end of the fight, dos Santos had out landed Ivanov 110-51 in total strikes as the former UFC heavyweight champion put on a clinic over all five rounds.

The scorecards reflected that with dos Santos winning 50-45 across the board as the judges handed him the unanimous decision win.

Following the victory, dos Santos was mostly happy to just be back in the cage where he loves to perform after such a long layoff between fights. He did mention one name that might interest him if the UFC is looking to put together a rematch in the near future.

“Rematch with [Stipe] Miocic would be very welcome,” dos Santos said.

Dos Santos and Miocic have split a pair of bouts in the past so it’s possible a trilogy could come together in the future, although it’s tough to say if the UFC would book that fight quite so soon.

Either way, dos Santos is back where he belongs as another heavyweight contender emerges in the top 10 with everybody gunning for champion Daniel Cormier.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.