Two very young and promising welterweight talents will open up UFC 157 in Anaheim, CA tonight at the Honda Center, as Strikeforce imports Nah-Shon Burrell (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) fights Yuri Villefort (6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) on the Facebook preliminary card broadcast.
This fight was made immediately after the preliminary card fight between Court McGee and Josh Neer was moved up to the main card to replace Chad Mendes and Manny Gamburyan. Perhaps the hastiness of the booking (roughly 11 days ago) influenced Burrell's inability to make weight. The Facebook portion of the preliminary card starts at 6:30 PM ET/3:30 PM PT before the FX broadcast finishes off the rest of the prelims at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Burrell: 23 years old | 6'1" | 73" reach
Villefort: 21 years old | 6'0" | 73" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Burrell has been in the fight game since 2009, with a 3-0 amateur record before turning pro in July 2010. From there he reeled off a string of KO victories with only one defeat along the way against Christopher Curtis. Strikeforce signed him up in 2011, and he impressed early with a TKO win over Lukasz Les. Following a close win over James Terry he was matched up against fellow striker Chris Spang, but Spang got the better of him and won via 1st round TKO.
Villefort was the #1 ranked welterweight in Bloody Elbow's 2011 Scouting Report, but he ended up not fighting at all in 2011. The young Brazilian joined Strikeforce and debuted in 2012, losing to another scouting report talent in Quinn Mulhern. He's one of the youngest fighters in the UFC and generally prefers to strike, which could make this a very intriguing contest.
Why should you care?
They're young, they're normally exciting, and chances are they can't afford to lose even their debuts. Villefort is more offensively diverse, but Burrell has a higher chance of ending the fight with a KO.