170 lbs: Amir Sadollah vs. Brad Blackburn
Odds: (-150 Sadollah / +120 Blackburn)
In the second bout of the evening, recent Ultimate Fighter winner Amir Sadollah, fresh off a big win over UFC veteran Phil Baroni, will take on IFL veteran “Bad” Brad Blackburn. Sadollah is still looking to build the kind of momentum other Ultimate Fighter winners have enjoyed, while Blackburn has risen above his previous mediocre record to put together a five fight win streak including three in the UFC.
Blackburn, one of the many fighters picked up by the UFC after the International Fight League folded, struggled to find consistency for the first part of his career. A good striker with good takedown and submission defense, Blackburn couldn’t seem to put his skill set together enough to win fights consistently. Recently, though, he has been on a tear, putting together 5 wins in 6 tries with one no contest, including wins over Jay Hieron and Ryo Chonan. He has the power and experience to finish Sadollah in the standup, so he just has to work on keep Sadollah at a distance and avoiding any takedown attempts.
Sadollah, the surprise Ultimate Fighter winner who upset heavy favorite C.B. Dolloway twice with two near-identical armbars, seemed to vanish after his Ultimate Fighter win. After a layoff of over a year, Sadollah returned only to be stopped early by Johnny Hendricks in a fight that some felt was called too early. Sadollah bounced back in serious fashion, though, surviving an early storm from dangerous veteran Phil Baroni and then dominating him for the duration of the fight. Sadollah is well-rounded, but needs to stay patient and not rush into a beatdown like he did against Hendricks.
In the end, I think Blackburn’s experience is going to be the deciding factor. Sadollah probably has a better ground game, but I don’t think his takedowns are good enough for it to matter. I think this will primarily be a standup fight, with Sadollah getting in some good shots with his technical Muay Thai, but Blackburn will take advantage of his inexperience and control most of the fight, earning himself a decision.
Fight Prediction: “Bad” Brad Blackburn via decision.
Bet on the UnderDog Blackburn for the win.
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