UFC 146 Results: 5 Lightweights That Can Test the Submission Skills of Paul Sass
Paul Sass is one dangerous dude.
After starting his mixed martial arts career with a ridiculous seven wins via triangle choke, Paul Sass' go-to move became known as "the Sassangle."
At UFC 146, Sass' opponent, Jacob Volkmann, found out firsthand what the Sassangle was all about, as he fell victim to the seemingly unstoppable submission early in the first round.
Can anybody stop this man's submission savvy, or are we seeing Royce Gracie 2.0 inside the UFC Octagon?
Here are five potential next opponents for Sass who could prevent his submissions and make him prove his worth in other areas of the game.
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Next slide, please.
Thiago Tavares/Dennis Hallman
Thiago Tavares and Dennis Hallman are set to face off at UFC 150, and I think the winner or the loser would make a nice matchup for Paul Sass.
Both men are accomplished grapplers with experience against top competition, and that is exactly the type of fighter that could test Sass and his deadly Sassangle.
After UFC 150, we will have a better picture of who Sass should face of the two, but right now I think both men are worthy opponents.
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Sean "The Muscle Shark" Sherk has been out of action since September 2010, and a fight against Paul Sass isn't what he would want upon his return.
Of course, I don't care about what Sherk wants; I care about what MMA fans want to see.
Sherk has had more than 40 professional fights, in which he has compiled an impressive 36-4-1 record with none of the losses coming via submission.
With his dominant wrestling base, Sherk would probably look to take Sass to the ground for the bout's duration, meaning that he would be in constant danger of the Sassangle.
History would say Sherk can defend against the attack, but I personally would love to see this fight play out. If Sass could become the first man to submit Sherk, he would catapult himself up the lightweight rankings and likely send "The Muscle Shark" to retirement.
Evan Dunham (left)
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Before suffering a devastating injury before UFC 146, Evan Dunham was set to face rising Brazilian prospect Edson Barboza in a bout that would have proved who belonged atop the lightweight pecking order.
Now looking to re-establish himself as one of the division's best, Dunham has a very well-rounded game and the solid wrestling and grappling that could potentially prevent the Sassangle's lethal effects.
While this bout may be a little low profile for Dunham, it is a tall task and, should Dunham control the ground fighting, he could end Sass' hype and prove himself to be the contender we all believe him to be.
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Mark Bocek was one of Canada's first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts and is widely considered one of the best grapplers in UFC's lightweight division.
His dominating ground game has established him as a threat to anyone in the division, and a matchup against Paul Sass would prove which lightweight really has the more dangerous ground attack.
Coming off a victory against John Alessio at UFC 145 in which he escaped relatively unscathed, Bocek may have a fight with Paul Sass and his fancy Sassangle in the near future.
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Before suffering back-to-back defeats to Dennis Siver and Rafael dos Anjos, G-Sot had MMA fans thinking he was ready for a shot at the UFC lightweight championship.
With his ever-improving stand-up game and dominant ground control, Sotiropoulos is a threat wherever the fight may go.
That said, the Australian's bread and butter is certainly his submission game, and he has never been forced to tap out in his MMA career.
A matchup against Sass would definitely put that run to the test, and it would also provide him the opportunity to re-establish himself as a legitimate fighter in the UFC's lightweight division.
In what could become one of the best ground battles of the year, Sass vs. Sotiropoulos makes all kinds of sense.