The injury bug is ripping through the featherweight division. After Sean Soriano was pulled from his UFC on Fox 11 fight against Estevan Payan, Mike Brown stepped in to replace him. Now Brown has gone down to injury as well and the UFC has had to draw on rising prospect and undefeated newcomer Alex White. The UFC announced the news via press release on Friday. UFC on Fox 11 takes place in Orlando Florida on April 19th.
Who is Alex White?
Fighting out of Team Destruction in Missouri, 27-year-old Alex White is his camp's most successful fighter. Following his 2010 debut, White has gone unbeaten to amass a 9-0 record, with 8 wins coming by way of stoppage. He has five submission wins with three TKOs. To date, White's level of competition has been pretty low, a few cans, some regional vets, no name wins or opponents. And coming from as unknown a camp as he has, it will be interesting to see how well prepared he is for a big step up in competition.
What you should expect:
White is a fairly methodical striker, standing flat footed and working at a fairly even pace. Defensively it makes him somewhat susceptible to eating single shots as he plods forward, but it also means that he doesn't tend to make huge mistakes off wild striking attempts. He actually has a decent striking arsenal at range, especially with his kicks, mixing in teeps, leg, and head kicks to keep opponents from getting too comfortable on the outside. He tends to lunge with his punches a bit, but when he finds the mark he strikes decently, if a bit wildly, in combination.
White doesn't seem to have much of a takedown game, relying on body locks to press his opponent against the cage. To counter this, he does appear to have a very active and well developed guard, and uses it to create submission and sweep opportunities when the fight hits the mat. If anything, he's probably a bit too comfortable giving up control in scrambles and on the ground.
What this means for his debut:
White has power and submission acumen, and he has a decent collection of striking skills, but what I've seen of his fights suggests that he has a ways to go before he puts that all together. Estevan Payan is the perfect introductory fight for him. A solid, veteran brawler without a ton of finishing potential. If White is going to show himself as a fighter to watch, this is the opponent for him to do it against. I might not pick him to beat most of the featherweight division, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him get the finish in his first UFC bout.
It's not the best recording in the world, but here's White's recent bout against Roy Babcock to get us better acquainted: