The featherweights open up the main card for in a matchup genetically designed for violence this November 28, 2015 at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul, South Korea.
The Match Up
Featherweight Doo Ho Choi -230 vs. Sam Sicilia +190
3 Things You Should Know
1. Doo Ho Choi may or may not be the real deal, but he's as watchable a fighter there is.
Ishida, former captain of the MMA hipster fanclub, can be seen getting smashed by Choi. It isn't his biggest win, but it's certainly the most high profile win of his, which more or less retired the former Shooto standout.
Choi made his successful UFC debut the same time this month last year. 'Undisclosed reasons' kept him off the grid for a bit, but there's no reason to think he's not ready. Especially for a bout that will play to his strengths.
2. Sam is your typical wily veteran; someone you underestimate at your own peril.
The former TUF'er has put together two wins in his last two, one over Yaotzin Meza, the other over Akira Corassani. Before that he was defeated by Katsunori Kikuno. His career isn't at an impasse. It's just plateaued. This no no way makes him less dangerous.
3. Sicilia has the power to end this with a few bad mistakes on Choi's part, but Choi is the proper favorite.
On the surface, Choi doesn't do anything with particular aplomb. He's simply a striking presence. His best punch is his straight right. When he's boxing, it's supported with the usual array of strikes. As he revealed against Ishida, he throws incredibly well timed knees. There's very little to his game that's lacking.
With good power, the only knock against him is that he's not blinding with his speed. However, his striking has a specific flow that kind of substitutes for speed (think Emmett Smith; not the fastest, but knew his routes). Sicilia, meanwhile, knows exactly what he's gonna do; wing that right hand as much as possible.
Over the years, Sam has developed a full fledged arsenal. But for the most part, he's just trying to bludgeon his opponent with that outside shot. The problem for Sam is that he leaves himself wide open. Choi's straight as an arrow punches will get through. Sicilia is durable, having only lost by TKO once (and that was after moving down in weight for the first time), but it'll be a short night if he's head hunting and eating a few just to give a few.
Nothing about Choi's combinations resemble a thanksgiving feast. Expect quite the buffet of strikes, however, with Choi eventually reducing Sicilia to mashed potatoes.
Choi by TKO, round 2.