UFC Fight Night 24 Preview: Amir Sadollah vs. DaMarques Johnson

Sadollah_johnson_mediumWinner of season 7 of The Ultimate Fighter, Amir Sadollah (4-2), meets season 9 runner-up DaMarques Johnson (12-8) on the main card of UFC Fight Night 24. Johnson is stepping into the fight as a late replacement following an injury to James Wilks. In a promotion that is simultaneously talking about needing more fighters for more shows while making cuts aplenty after each event, it's a safe bet that neither guy would feel very comfortable picking up a loss.

Amir finds himself with a 4-2 record, all six pro fights coming in the UFC. After submitting C.B. Dollaway in the finals of his season of TUF, Amir was TKO'ed in less than 30 seconds by Johny Hendricks. He was given as close to a "gimmie" as there is in the UFC at UFC 106 against Phil Baroni. Sadollah controlled the bout and took the win by decision. A decision win over the highly-inconsistent Brad Blackburn followed before Amir was handed his second loss when Dong Hyun Kim outworked him for the decision. In Amir's last bout he cruised to a decision win over Peter Sobotta.

Over his six fights we've seen Sadollah grow as a stand-up fighter while remaining a threat off his back when he gets taken down. Still, he has much more growing to do. While the techniques are there, the finishing ability still needs to be developed.

Johnson entered The Ultimate Fighter with a 9-6 record. After James Wilks defeated him in the finale of TUF, DaMarques beat Edgar Garcia and Brad Blackburn (one fight after Sadollah snapped Blackburn's win streak). An ugly TKO loss to Matt Riddle and a body triangle submission win over Mike Guymon bring us to Saturday's fight.

Johnson has decent wrestling but a very solid top game. His striking is several steps behind that which Amir will bring to the table. The entire fight hinges on Johnson's ability to get takedowns versus Amir's ability to either work for submissions or scramble back to his feet. It's fairly unlikely that Amir stops Johnson during the three rounds so DaMarques will have to be relentless in his takedown attempts and pressure.

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