News: Junior dos Santos meets former WSOF best Blagoy Ivanov at UFC Fight Night Boise

One time UFC Heavyweight champion Junior ‘Cigano’ dos Santos returns to the octagon after a recent USADA suspension, as he meets promotional newcomer, Bulgaria’s Blagoy Ivanov in the main event of UFC Fight Night Boise.

Brazil’s dos Santos was handed a retroactive six month suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency after a tainted supplement contained an substance, which resulted in a Anti-Doping Policy violation, subsequently forcing the 34 year-old from a scheduled meeting with Francis Ngannou at UFC 215.

Sambo specialist ‘Bagata’ Ivanov will make his UFC bow against dos Santos, after successfully defending the World Series of Fighting heavyweight championship on three occasions, before the company became defunct. Remaining champion of the then established Professional Fighters League, Ivanov defended the crown against Caio Alencar in a dominant decision victory.

Absent from the octagon since his dramatic first round knockout loss to Stipe Miocic in the pair’s rematch, JDS was in line to meet fellow title contender Francis ‘The Predator’ Ngannou before the aforementioned Anti-Doping Policy violation brought a swift conclusion to his 2017. Competing in memorable heavyweight clashes with fellow star Cain Velasquez, dos Santos scored an earth shattering first round KO victory over the Californian, before in two subsequent meetings, Velasquez mauled dos Santos to claim a decision triumph before a rubber match slam resulted in a technical knockout win for ‘Cardio’ Cain.

Arguably one of the greatest heavyweights to put on a pair of gloves, JDS holds incredible wins over compatriot Fabrício Werdum, PRIDE great Mirko Cro Cop, grappling ace Frank Mir, heavy hitter Mark Hunt, current champion Miocic, and the behemoth Shane Carwin.

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 Previously competing in the heavyweight division of Bellator, Blagoy Ivanov established himself as somewhat of a submission specialist during hs time in Scott Coker’s organisation, utilizing his Judo and Sambo prowess to setup grappling wins over Lavar Johnson and Zak Janssen. Picking up gold at the world Sambo championship in St. Petersburg in 2008, Ivanov’s most notable victories in his traveled career have come against Ricco Rodriguez and Shawn Jordan. Meeting recent UFC riser Alexander ‘Drago’ Volkov in the Bellator heavyweight tournament final, Ivanov suffered a rear-naked choke loss in the second round. Ivanov also faced another future UFC mover early in his career, meeting Sweden’s Ilir Lafiti in just his third professional walk, resulting in a bizarre ‘No Contest’ after a ring malfunction.

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