Fight Night Breakdown
The Ultimate Fighter 7 winner Amir Sadollah hasn't found his way back to the Octagon just yet, but his blogging career is in full swing. In this edition of his exclusive Spike.com blog, he comments on his injury and last-minute withdrawal from Fight Night 17, then gives a detailed breakdown of this weekend's fights, airing live and free on Spike TV at 9pm. Hit the jump to hear straight from Amir.
So I don't want to make this the focus of the article, nor publicize my medical records, but I want people to be correctly informed. For the second time I have had to pull out of a match, this time due to a shoulder injury. Without getting too medical, let's just say it's not broken, but someone may or may not have dropped a hand grenade in my shoulder. So once again...reverse progress... hard work nullified... dreams crushed... blah, blah, blah.
Now on to the good stuff. Greg and I will be breaking down the fights for fight night 17.
Lauzon vs. Stevens
This card seemed plagued with bad juju, as Hermes Franca had to withdraw too, and Stevens was subbed last minute. From what I saw of Stevens' last fight on short notice, I don't think he will suffer too much. I would give the advantage to Lauzon the further the fight goes, but fifteen minutes is a long time to make something happen.
I think you're right about Stephens' conditioning. He hasn't shown that to be a problem in the past and he announced on a conference call the other day -I get to listen in on the media conference calls, because I'm cool-that he had been training full time with Hermes and JoshNeer anyway, so that should be the least of his problems. With that said, let's highlight his biggest problem: Lauzon's jiu jitsu. Stephens is solid on the ground, but J-Lau is on a different level. Stephens has great hands and his best chance will be to score a quick knockout. However, he probably realizes this and it might open him up for a takedown from Lauzon and that will likely be the end for Lil' Heathen.
Cain Velasquez vs. Denis Stojnic
I don't know a lot about Stojnic, but the egocentric part of me likes his background, Sambo and Dutch Muay Thai. The bad part for Stojnic is on paper, stylistically European strikers have a hard time with good wrestlers, and Velasquez is a very good wrestler.
Well no one knows much about Stojnic. He's been hiding away in promotions in the Far East, and while you may have a bias towards his style, the terms Sambo and DMT don't exactly strike fear into the hearts of UFC toughs like Cain Velasquez. Cain has pretty good kickboxing too and like you said he's a great wrestler. One thing I can say for guys who spend most of their time in places like Croatia and Serbia is that they're usually tough as nails, but this is a tall order for Stojnic's Octagon debut and if he wants to make a splash, he better find an answer for Velasquez's bombs.