It's always good to see a UFC vet make their way back to the show. It casts the best possible light on regional MMA as not only a proving ground for new talent, but a point of rejuvenation for fighters who may not have quite been ready the first time they got picked up by Zuffa. Sadly, many fighters don't make it back. The end of their time in the UFC serves as a pinnacle, never to be reattained, rather than a glimpse at a larger prize that will be captured down the line. Such is not the case for Peter Sobotta, however. German MMA website groundandpound.de has announced that the welterweight will be making his octagon return sometime this year (very likely at the UFC's upcoming show in Berlin on May 31st). No official announcement has been made at this time, and no potential opponents have been reported.
Sobotta made his first UFC run back in 2009 dropping a decision to Paul Taylor at UFC 99. He was outside the UFC's doors by late 2010, but has gone 5-0-1 since with all five of his wins coming by first round submission. The 27 year old Sobotta trains out of the Planet Eater Gym under the tutelage of Dean Lister and alongside prospects like Martin Buschkamp, Alexandros Michlidis, and Konstantin Goette. Other than a win over young prospect Tamirlan Dadaev (who at 19 has already fought 3 UFC vets), his recent run hasn't been very notable. He didn't compete in the entirity of 2013 due to prolonged illness and several cancelled figths, but the demand for German fighters at the moment has put him right back in the UFC's sights.
Watching Sobotta fight, I'm not sure that his game has changed a lot since his first UFC run. He still tends to be a high volume kicker, throwing sharp leg body and head kicks to both sides in an attempt to keep opponents at distance and open up opportunities to shoot in. He does, however, appear to have sharpened up his technique, especially his footwork, and that alone may make him much more effective as he puts himself in better position to shoot with a more stable base. He is a very strong ground grappler, as is shown by his run of submission wins and is excellent at keeping position. Eventually, he's not particularly physically dominating in the clinch and that's probably going to stay his biggest limitation in the UFC. Larger welterweights may not have a ton of trouble shucking him off where his range attack can be a bit predictable behind his less than stellar boxing.
To get us better acquainted, here's the footage of one of his 2012 fights against Juan Manuel Suarez.
UPDATE: Bloody Elbow has learned from myMMA.pl that Sobotta is expected to make his UFC return against recent Polish welterweight signing Pawel Pawlak on the scheduled Berlin card on May 31st.