MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Scoggins’ UFC Debut Revealed

IMG_8991-940x500 The UFC officially announced the debut of flyweight phenom Justin Scoggins, as the American will take on Australia’s Richie Vaculik at UFC Fight Night 33 this December in Brisbane. And I can’t wait. If you haven’t watched any tape on Scoggins yet, as soon as you finish reading this article head over to Youtube and type in the young man’s name and prepare to be dazzled. Just 21-years-old, Scoggins is already 7-0 in pro MMA with five of those wins coming via knockout, many of them via head kick. Go and watch tape on this kid and you will see exactly what I’m talking about when I say this guy is special — I mean, he KOed a dude with a hook kick to the face! Who does that in MMA? Unreal. Despite having been a professional for less than two years, the UFC signed Scoggins so it’s clear that flyweight matchmaker Sean Shelby has been just as impressed with his progress as I have, and for good reason, and he continues to win and win and show no signs of stopping anytime soon, a scary thing to think about when you consider he’s so young and so new to the sport. This fight against Vaculik kind of came up out of nowhere — Scoggins had previously been rumored to fight Dustin Ortiz — but it’s actually a really intriguing matchup when you take a closer look. A vet of TUF Smashes, Vaculik — who has a 9-1 pro record — fought eventual winner Norman Parke on that show and lost a decision. But since Parke has gone 2-0 to start his UFC career, Shelby thought it was fair to give Vaculik a fight in the UFC, albeit at a different weight class. But get this. While Vaculik competed as a 155 pounder on TUF, he’s going to do something amazing and kind of crazy, as he’ll be dropping down not one, not two, but a full three weight classes when he makes his official UFC debut against Scoggins. It’s nuts, when you think about it, but it’s kind of cool, too, and it adds a ton of intrigue to a fight that, at first glance, I expected Scoggins to win. Now, though, I’m not sure sure, as Vaculik is going to be a massive flyweight and if he’s able to use his size and strength to neutralize Scoggins, he could very well pull off the upset in his home country. Although Scoggins’ athleticism is the first thing you see out of him, don’t forget that Vaculik is a multi-sport athlete, as he’s also a pro surfer. So he’s likely to be athletic as heck at 125, too, although I question his gas tank since the fight may very well go 15 minutes like many flyweight bouts do. The line for this fight will be hard to set because there are so many unknowns. But the hardcores are hyping up Scoggins hard here so I do think he will be the favorite, although it will likely be at -200 or less. Those are just my initial thoughts, though, and they might change as I watch more tape on Vaculik. Either way, this is going to be a great fight and it could be Scoggins’ coming-out party. And, as someone who could be a future star in the sport, you won’t want to miss it.

Written by Adam Martin.

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