In the lone welterweight battle being featured on the UFC 122 main card, Polish-German fighter Peter Sobotta (8-3, 0-2 UFC) hopes to regain some of the luster that earned him a stint with the UFC as he battles The Ultimate Fighter season seven winner Amir Sadollah (3-2, 3-2 UFC). Sadollah will be looking to rebound from the one-sided beating he took at the hands of Korean Judo fighter Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 114 while Sobotta hopes to stave off relegation as he's dropped unanimous decisions to James Wilks and Paul Taylor in his two appearances with the promotion.
I'm not going to try to convince you that this is a fight we should all be keeping a keen eye on as it has some sort of indirectly linked relevance to the divisional rankings. It doesn't, and it's obvious that most of these fights have been put together to give German fans a rooting interest.
There is, however, the tiny amount of intrigue in seeing how Sadollah has progressed since the drubbing he took against Dong Hyun Kim. While most fans have written off Sadollah as a failure, we need to remember that Sadollah pulled off something quite miraculous during his stint on the reality series -- he won it without any professional experience. That should warrant a little sympathy from fans when Sadollah is on the end of a loss. After all, he's fighting some of the best fighters in the world without extensive experience at a regional level.
On paper, Sobotta seems like the perfect opponent for Sadollah to exploit and get back on the winning track. He doesn't have an impressive background, nor does he have a record that would indicate he can beat even mid-level talent. He's quite susceptible to clinch attacks, and James Wilks basically proved that Sadollah's skill-set can rattle the German when he defeated Sobotta at UFC 115.
Sadollah should have a much more honed kickboxing base than Sobotta, and the training in Holland should pay dividends here. On the ground, I expect much of the same as Wilks was able to threaten Sobotta consistently, going so far as nearly tapping him via armbar and gogoplata. Sadollah has always been above average in his transition game, although he does have a propensity to try to slug it out with opposition as opposed to taking advantage on the ground.
In any case, I'm not high on Sobotta offering a stiff challenge in this bout. While he can threaten with the submission, his skills are parallel with my sentiments on the region as a whole. Germany isn't at a stage to produce quality mixed martial arts talent without help from the other regions nearby, and the country's lack of excellence in the training department has certainly hurt Sobotta's success rate in the UFC. Look for that trend to continue here as Sadollah eventually submits Sobotta after some peppering stand-up.