UFC on FUEL 5: Is Amir Sadollah Still a UFC Calibre Fighter?

Matthew RyderFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2012

May 15, 2012; Fairfax, VA, USA; Amir Sadollah celebrates a split decision win over Jorge Lopez during the Korean zombie vs Poirier event at Patriot Center.  Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE
Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE

The title of this one says it all.

Is Amir Sadollah good enough to be in the UFC?

And you know something? I was going to argue that he’s not. I went back to all the images of him that I have in my head—most of which involve him losing fights and not living up to his potential.

Oh, and fighting Phil Baroni. Any time you can namedrop the New York Badass, you basically have to.

I thought about him as a pretty affable guy, a fighter who’d make a great media personality if he was a bit better at fighting and could provide more credibility than “Hey, I’m Amir, and I beat DaMarques Johnson once.”

And my mind was basically made up. Amir Sadollah shouldn’t be in the UFC.

But then I started thinking about some other things.

I thought about him sitting at 6-3 in his career, and having only fought in the Octagon. That’s actually remarkable.

I looked back on him winning TUF 7 without ever having won a pro fight before—and beating show favourite CB Dollaway (yeah, for real. We all thought that dude was going to be something a lot bigger than a guy who always looks like he’s smelling his own lip). Twice.

I remembered some pretty impressive fights, the aforementioned tilts with Baroni and Johnson, as well as a gutsy decision loss to Dwayne Ludwig.

I considered that he lost a questionable stoppage to Johny Hendricks at a time when no one knew who Hendricks was and Sadollah was expected to do big things.

And you know what? I changed my mind.

Not only is Amir Sadollah good enough to be in the UFC, he should be commended for sticking around as long as he has and winning twice as often as he loses. For a guy that picked the sport up late and had no time to develop at a reasonable pace against nobodies in fights no one was watching, he’s been remarkable.

He’s usually exciting, highly technical, and as game as they come.

Sure, he’s never going to be a champion, but that’s true for probably 90% of the roster. Sometimes being a tough kid who comes to fight is enough, and if that’s what Sadollah offers, there are worse things to be.

Saturday night in Nottingham, he’ll go into enemy territory to mix it up with a resurgent Dan Hardy. There should be some quality striking exchanges, and for however long the thing lasts, there’s a good chance the fans will get what they paid for.

I don’t expect Sadollah to win, but then again 20 minutes ago I didn’t even think he should be in the UFC.

Maybe he’ll prove me wrong again.