Fresh off his impressive first-round knockout victory over Tyson Griffin at UFC 137 this past October, Bart Palaszewski (36-14 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has another top-10 opponent in his sights.
Hatsu Hioki (25-4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who defeated George Roop in his organizational debut the same night as Palaszewski’s victory, is whom the Team Curran featherweight would like to face next in the Octagon.
As for how both fighters performed on Oct. 29, it’s fair to say that it was Palaszewski, who scored the more impressive victory and he couldn’t be happier with his performance.
“I was super excited,” Palaszewski recently told BleacherReport.com. “Tyson was a tough competitor at '55, so coming off a big win against Manny (Gamburyan), he’s a big name and I didn’t take him lightly at all. I prepared well and it paid off.”
His payoff may come in the form of Hioki, who’s currently on a five-fight win streak with 48 percent of career victories coming by way of submission.
However, with countless hours of training time devoted to honing his wrestling and submission skills combined with 47 percent of his career victories coming courtesy of knockouts, Palaszewski has supreme confidence that Hioki won’t stand a chance of fight night.
“It’s a fight I want, I thought that it’s the fight that was going to happen. I heard that the winner of my fight and the winner of Hioki (and) Roop was going to fight to kind of move up the ranks, so I want that fight. He’s a tough dude, but I think (that) I’m gonna whoop him. I just don’t see any way that he can beat me and I saw his performance and I think there’s more than one way I can beat him.”
Hioki was expected to make a splash in his Octagon debut, but he failed to do so in picking up the split-decision victory over Roop. Nonetheless, the Japanese star was victorious and he’s widely considered the No. 2-ranked featherweight in the world.
Palaszewski feels he has the skill set to defeat Hioki and continue his climb up the ladder towards an opportunity at championship gold.
"It was a close fight, obviously, but I think they were just extremely, evenly matched. I think Hioki faded a little bit, he’s got a weird style. I’ve seen him fight before, he fought a good friend of mine, Jeff Curran, he beat him, but I just don’t see him being able to finish me and he won’t be able to grind me out. He had some good showings in the past, but I look at you as you're as good as your last fight pretty much, and that’s the fight I’m going to analyze. Obviously, I’m going to see what he’s done in the past, I’m going to get fights from the past and see how much of his style changes and was it Roop making it difficult and making him look bad or was it his style.
We’re going to break him down just like we did with Tyson. The last couple of years I’ve been putting everything together, before we kind of just trained and fought. Now, we’re kind of getting into the behind the scenes of fighting, breaking guys down, watching footage, sitting down with coaches, and things like that. That’s what I’m going to do with Hioki and I’m going to put him away."
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