Though nothing is 100 percent etched in stone, it looks like TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah is actually going to make his return to the Octagon on Saturday.
The last time we saw him in the cage was the night he earned his contract, June 21, 2008. Since then, it's been injury after injury, scraping two fights and leaving Sadollah far enough off the radar that the UFC installed him as the "host" of their Inside the Octagon segment during the last season of TUF.
Barring anything catastrophic, he's finally going to get that second professional fight under his belt and it's not going to be a walk in the park either.
Amir Sadollah (1-0) vs. Johny Hendricks (5-0)
Honestly, this fight has no business being the third fight on a pay-per-view, but it's presence there should signal something to everyone, if it hasn't been clear this whole way already.
The UFC has some serious time invested in Amir Sadollah and sees a bright future for him. Sadollah has a lot of the same qualities as his coach on TUF, Forrest Griffin, including the natural charisma to draw people in.
This is why we saw him hosting that little segment every week; he's a sharp guy who is pretty entertaining, but since he's been off the grid for so long, the UFC needed to remind us all how much we liked him.
Now they stick him in there with a tough kid who reminds me a lot of Josh Koscheck.
Johny Hendricks is an outstanding wrestler. A three-time All-American, Hendricks wrestled at Oklahoma State with Jake Rosholt and Shane Roller and earned two National Championships.
Okay, so he's actually a better wrestler collegiately than Kos.
Anyway, what makes me think of Koscheck when I watch Hendricks is his propensity for standing up and striking. Just like the AKA product and TUF alum, Hendricks uses his wrestling when he needs to, but is just as interested in standing and banging with his opponents.
It's very hard to handicap this fight; Sadollah has just one fight to his name and is coming off a long layoff and numerous injuries, while Hendricks is good enough to be 5-0, including two wins in the WEC, but if he was that good, he would have been in the UFC and not the WEC, right?
Bottom line: the UFC needs Sadollah to win this fight and Hendricks should be just enough of an opponent to not make it look easy, but still come out holding the short straw, if you know what I mean.
Fight Week Previews, or FWP, come to you from Keyboard Kimura for the five days leading up to each major MMA card with the wildly popular Punch Drunk Predictions being delivered on fight day.
E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance MMA journalist who authors the MMA blog Keyboard Kimura, as well as contributing to Watch Kalib Run and MMA Ratings. Follow him on Twitter or receive daily news and information through his Facebook Fan Page. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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