This week, the UFC travels to Wichita, Kansas for UFC on ESPN+4. This event is being held at the INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas on Saturday Night, March 9, 2019, with a first fight bell time of 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.
UFC on ESPN+4 will feature 13 fights, highlighted by a Heavyweight Main Event between Derrick Lewis and Junior Dos Santos. The Co-Main Event will feature two of the up and coming Welterweights in the UFC as Elizeu Zaleski takes on Curtis Millender. We will get into both of these fights shortly, but first let’s take a look at the entire fight card.
UFC on ESPN+4 Fight Card
Heavyweight Derrick Lewis vs. Junior dos Santos
Welterweight Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Curtis Millender
Welterweight Tim Means vs. Niko Price
Heavyweight Blagoy Ivanov vs. Ben Rothwell
Lightweight Beneil Dariush vs. Drew Dober
Middleweight Tim Boetsch vs. Omari Akhmedov
Welterweight Anthony Rocco Martin vs. Sérgio Moraes
Bantamweight Marion Reneau vs. Yana Kunitskaya
Featherweight Grant Dawson vs. Julian Erosa
Heavyweight Maurice Greene vs. Jeff Hughes
Bantamweight Louis Smolka vs. Matt Schnell
Welterweight Alex Morono vs. Zak Ottow
Lightweight Alex White vs. Dan Moret
UFC on ESPN+4 Main Event
The Main Event for UFC on ESPN+4 will be a Heavyweight Battle between two knockout artists as Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis stands across the octagon from former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos. This fight is scheduled for five 5-minute rounds; however, it is highly unlikely that the judges will be needed or that this fight will go the distance.
In his last fight, Derrick Lewis took on Daniel Cormier for the UFC Heavyweight Title and lost by 2nd round submission. Lewis gassed early on in the fight as Cormier made him wrestle, which is not his strong point, and he eventually gave up his back, which led to Cormier sinking in a rear naked choke and finishing the fight.
That loss brought Lewis’s record to 21-6 overall, and he is 12-4 in the UFC. Lewis has now won 3 out of the last 4 fights and will be starting his climb back to the top of the UFC rankings.
Junior Dos Santos is the former UFC Heavyweight Champion and will enter this fight on a 2-fight win streak. JDS traveled to Australia for his last fight and took on the hometown hero, Tai Tuivasa. That fight was a major brawl, with JDS getting the 2nd round KO win at UFC Fight Night 142. That win brought the 35-year JDS’s record to 20-5 overall and 13-4 in the UFC.
JDS is a boxer by nature and is one of the best straight strikers in the Heavyweight Division. JDS has finished 12 of his opponents by KO and 15 of 20 wins come by way of finish.
In this fight, it is going to come down to JDS being able to stay mobile and avoid the big one punch shots from Lewis. Lewis really doesn’t put together combos or gameplans, as he simply walks in and tries to take people’s heads off. If he lands that one-punch, he is usually successful, but JDS is much too experienced and too elusive to get caught. JDS will tire Lewis out with his movement and end the fight when Lewis gets tired.
Handicapping Selection: Junior Dos Santos Winner Via 3rd Round TKO
UFC on ESPN+4 Co-Main Event
In the Co-Main Event, we will see Curtis Millender taking on Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos. This is another fight that should be an entertaining striking bout. Both of these fighters are working their way up the UFC’s Welterweight ladder and a win here as the co-main event could punch their ticket for a top 10 bout in their next bout.
Curtis Millender is 17-3 overall and is undefeated in his short UFC career at 3-0. Millender is a striker that has shown that he does not like to try to play around on the ground. He has won 6 of his 17 wins by KO with 11 wins coming by decision.
Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos comes into this fight with a record of 20-5 overall and 6-1 in the UFC. Zaleski has won 14 of his 20 wins by KO or TKO. He will be riding a 6 fight win streak, and at only 32-years old, he still has plenty of time to make a nice run in the UFC. He has shown in the past that he can strike with some of the best strikers in the UFC.
He has wins over Sean Strickland, Lyman Good, Max Griffin, and former undefeated fighter Luigi Vendramini. His only loss in the UFC came back in 2015 when he dropped a split decision to Nicolas Dalby.
This should be a really entertaining fight. It has Fight of the Night written all over it. I expect Millender will do everything he can to keep the fight on the feet, as he does not like to go to the ground. Zaleski, on the other hand, isn’t afraid to go to the ground and will have the decisive edge when the fight hits the floor. Eventually, the fight will go to the ground, and I expect Zaleski will dominate.
Handicapping Selection: Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos Winner via Unanimous Decision
Top Betting Pick for UFC on ESPN+4
Blagoi Ivanov over Ben Rothwell – Blagoi Ivanov made his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 133, in a unanimous decision loss to Junior Dos Santos. Blagoi spent a majority of his career fighting at World Series of Fighting, Pro FIghters League and Bellator and compiled a 16-2 record. He will face Ben Rothwell, who has not fought since April 2014, who also lost to JDS by Unanimous Decision. Blagoi is going to want to get the win as his career in the UFC is probably on the line.
Handicapping Selection: Blagoi Ivanov WINNER via 1st Rd TKO