UFC officials announced the bout via twitter late last night.
With a featherweight headliner in place between the fast rising Dustin Poirier and the equally talented “Korean Zombie”, UFC on FUEL TV 3 is set to go down from the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. on May 15.
The bout between Lopez and Sadollah was originally scheduled to go down at last weekend’s UFC 143 event. However both fighters were forced off the card when plagued by injury.
The Wanderlei Silva trained Lopez enters his second UFC bout on the heels of a debut loss to Justin Edwards at UFC Fight Night 25. The loss snapped a 10-fight win streak for the welterweight stand-out who will no doubt be out to prove a point against Sadollah.
Sadollah is probably best known as “The Ultimate Fighter 7” winner. Having mixed results since winning the show, Amir was last seen in a losing effort to Duane Ludwig during the UFC on Versus 5 live card. The loss snapped a two fight win streak.
Continue to next page for the “Editors Breakdown and prediction for this fight.”
This fight is a little more difficult to break down than most, simply due to the fact that Lopez, although he holds an 11-2 pro MMA record, is virtually unknown or should I say untested against Elite competition.
Amir on the other hand, had his first and every professional MMA bout under the bright lights of the UFC and we have been able to watch him mature over time and therefore, at least for me, have a better gauge on his skill level as a fighter.
I have done my research on Lopez; he comes in as one of Wanderlei Silva’s top students. He lost his UFC debut to Justin Edwards in a bout that he was, for the most part, outwrestled for the first two rounds. But during the fight he showed a pretty impressive striking ability, however he just didn’t have an answer for the wrestling pressure Edwards put on him in the first ten minutes and therefore lost the decision.
I never really hold a fighter’s UFC debut against them in a loss. It’s called the “Octagon jitters” and many good fighters succumb to it in their first outing. A perfect example of this is Carlos Condit, who lost his debut match to Martin Kampann only to go on an unbeaten streak all the way to the UFC’s interim welterweight title. Maybe the same will hold true for Lopez, it’s still too early to tell, but again, hard to hold a first UFC loss against someone.
So after all that I have seen and read on Lopez and gauging from his one UFC fight, you would still think that the safe money is on Sadollah for the win, at least that is my pick.
Sadollah has way more experience against top flight opponents, he trains with one of the best camps in the world and he is ever improving his game. For Sadollah it’s all about putting it all together when it counts and I think he will show yet again more improvement in this newly announced matchup. He is coming off of a one-sided beating received at the violent hands of Duane Ludwig, but I don’t think I am able to put Lopez’s striking in the same category as a Ludwig just yet and Amir is good in that realm as well. I will also note that Amir has never lost two contests back to back; when he loses he seems to come back with fire and determination.
Wanderlei Silva gives Lopez his full support and gives high praise to his student, but that’s his job and even though I would like to take the word of Wandy to heart, I’d rather Lopez prove it to me himself. He entered the UFC on a 10-fight win streak, but the guys he beat are all regional talent with no real resumes worth bragging about.
Since we saw Lopez struggle with the wrestling of Edwards, and we know that Edwards is not a world-class takedown artist, I’d say if Amir implements a similar game plane he takes the fight easily. Taking it to the ground is his path of least resistance and he has the tools to bring it there. On the feet, I’d call it near even, but still give the slight edge to Sadollah. This is Amir’s fight to lose.
Feel free to discuss