Will One More Win Be Enough Before Amir Sadollah Is a Contender?

Dale De SouzaAnalyst INovember 16, 2010

Sadollah before he fought Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 114.
Sadollah before he fought Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 114.Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

The talk of UFC 122 may have died out by now, but the thought of Amir Sadollah's striking game which Peter Sobotta met at UFC 122 is still stuck in my head.

The man is only 4-2 professionally as a fighter, yet already he's responsible for one of the better moments of UFC 122, which, despite drawing an average crowd of 2.2 million viewers, was perceived as one of the more lackluster events of 2010.

Of course, the question is whether or not Amir Sadollah can be called a contender after his performance at UFC 122, and I have to wonder why that would be the case.

Nothing against Sadollah, because the kid is tough, but how is beating a guy that was 0-2 coming into his UFC 122 bout an impressive feat?

I don't really consider it as such, and yet I'm usually nice about guys like these who beat young up-and-comers and eventually establish themselves as contenders.

Now then, do I honestly believe that perhaps another win over someone that's a top-notch threat to the current top ten at Welterweight could change my mind about Sadollah being a contender?

Hell yeah it could, depending on who it is.

In a field where you've got guys like Mike Pyle, Paulo Thiago, the mega-pushed Jake Shields, and others, you're talking about a deep field when you're talking about the UFC Welterweight division.

The problem is, who do you line up for Amir?

Jake Ellenberger is clearly somewhere close to contention if he's getting a fight with Jon Fitch at UFC 126, so perhaps lining Ellenberger up with Sadollah is a mistake. And don't even get me started on a Fitch-Sadollah fight.

As a matter of fact, rule out anyone that is currently in contention for the champ, but leave a few names out there.

Pending a win at the TUF 12 Finale, Johny Hendricks could be a rematch for Sadollah if the UFC really wanted it, but that wouldn't make sense, as a win over Rick "The Horror" Story could put Hendricks into the upper echelon of the division.

Diego Sanchez's road is unclear after a Fight-of-the-Night performance in a unanimous decision win over Paulo Thiago, but would the experience factor play too much of a role?


My first choice, though also questionable due to the experience factor, would probably be Mike Pyle.

Pyle, like Sadollah, is coming off of a win over some young competition in 14-1 John Hathaway, a not-even-close-to-controversial win he garnered at UFC 120 when he scored a unanimous decision over Hathaway in front of Hathaway's own crowd.

Of course, Hathaway is a bigger deal than Sobotta, but that hasn't established Pyle as a top contender as of yet.

Pyle beating Sadollah would be far from a huge win, but it would throw into question if Amir is ready for the upper echelon, and raise demand for "Quicksand" to face more top-ranked Welters.

On the other end of the spectrum, Sadollah winning would be a victory over the underestimated Octagon warrior who snapped Hathaway's perfect professional record.

To beat the man who beat one of the top prospects in the UFC may actually do wonders for Amir's career.

Before we can find out what it could do to help his career, though, the fight must be made.

In any event, however, I see one win over a solid Welterweight up-and-comer being the key to Sadollah getting his recognition as a UFC Welterweight contender.

One more solid win, and maybe Sadollah vs. Koscheck or Sadollah vs. St-Pierre won't sound so laughable.