UFC Fight Night 41 Undercard Preview for ‘Munoz vs Mousasi’ Prelims on UFC Fight Pass

DoberIn what will be the first of two shows tomorrow (May 31, 2014), we have UFC Fight Night 41: Munoz vs. Mousasi. It’s the first time the UFC has been to Germany in four years, but unfortunately, it’s a Fight Pass show, so while the main event is strong, the prelims are filled with only a few familiar faces. That’s OK, though, as there is plenty of potential for excitement on this card. In the prelim ‘main event’ we have a debuting 155-pounder in Nick Hein (10-1) taking on TUF 15 tryout Drew Dober (14-5). Hein is a thick and solid 155er who uses his judo to throw around his usually smaller opponents while Dober likes to grind his way to wins, usually via submissions, of which he has eight. Hein is usually able to overwhelm his opponents, but even with lesser competition, has to really work for a finish, which could prove to be trouble against Dober, who is as tough as they come. Dober may have lost his debut to Sean Spencer at the TUF 18 finale, but he showed a tough chin and plenty of heart when receiving his beatdown. The key to the fight will be distance. Hein will try to work his way into the clinch however he can in oder to muscle down Dober, while Dober will do his best to turn the tables on the 30-year-old German and grind out that takedown so he can put the turtle on his back en route to a win. Middleweights are next, as Magnus Cedenblad (11-4) looks to use his length to defeat Krzyzstof Jotko (14-0). Cedenblad is 1-1 in the UFC, with a 2012 rear naked choke loss to Francis Carmont paving way to a 57-second guillotine choke win over Jared Hamman at UFC 164 that was set up by his strong punches. Cedenblad is a well-rounded Swedish fighter, while Jotko is a scary, constantly plodding forward grinder. Jotko decisioned Bruno Santos at UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Bigfoot, and has seen the judges seven other times in his career. Jotko is going to want to take it to the ground where he can do damage from the top, while Cedenblad is more lanky, and does well when he can set up his ground attack with strong stand up, wearing down his opponent. An interesting bantamweight fight rounds out the middle of the prelims, as Iuri Alcantara (29-5) taking on Vaughan Lee (14-9-1). Alcantara was as hyped as they come in the WEC, and for good reason. He knocked out Ricardo Lamas at 155 pounds, then went on a two-fight winning streak at featherweight in the UFC until he lost to Hacran Dias. He moved to bantamweight and looked good, until Urijah Faber was able to overcome his strong BJJ and devastating striking power to put him away with a solid performance at UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen. Lee will have his hands full, being 3-3 in the UFC with losses to the champ in TJ Dillashaw, as well as Chris Cariaso and Raphael Assuncao, but wins over Kid Yamamoto (the only guy to submit Kid, actually) and most recently Nam Phan. Lee can mix it up. He’s extremely tricky on the ground and can stand with the majority of the bantamweight division. Both of these men are exciting fighters, and while Alcantara is the gatekeeper to the upper-echelon of the bantamweight division, don’t count out Lee. Alcantara can take a patient approach and likely pick apart the Englishman, and he has the tools to do it. He has 12 knockouts and 12 submissions. But be warned, this isn’t an easy fight for either man. Germany will see another of their natives enter the Octagon as Peter Sobotta (13-4) comes back to the UFC after dropping three straight from 2009-2010. His opponent is newcomer Pawel Pawlak (10-0) a man who has only seen the judges once in his career. The Polish grappler has brutal ground and pound and a slick game that could force Sobotta into a fun grappling match for the fans. On the feet, it’s Pawlek who holds the advantage, but only slightly. Both of these men like to get it to the ground and do damage there. Sobotta was picked apart by slightly better fighters in James Wilks and Amir Sodallah in his first run, but he’s gone on a six-fight undefeated streak since he’s left the UFC. Is he vastly improved? We’ll see, but this Polish sledgehammer won’t make it be easy. It comes down to who can land a good shot to get on top of the other man first. Featherweights are next, as Andy Ogle (9-4) looks to snap his 2-fight losing streak to get back on the winning path. Standing in his way is Maximo Blanco (9-6-1-1) a former Pancrase and Sengoku standout that has fallen on hard times, losing 4 out of his last 5 bouts across Strikeforce and the UFC. He could’ve strung two wins together, but ended up kneeing Akira Corassani in the dome illegally at the TUF 18 finale, and was given the DQ loss (for the second time in his career). He followed up that 25-second ‘loss’ with a UD loss to Felipe Arantes at Fight NIght: Machida vs. Mousasi and now here we stand, with two dangerous men possibly fighting for their jobs. Ogle is a striker by trade, and while Blanco can certainly hold his own there, he has strong takedowns and ground and pound, and will likely want to stuff and tie up Ogle as quickly as possible before taking it to the mat in what should be a violent fight.

Written by Jason Nawara

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