UFC Fight Night 70 Newcomer Breakdown: Sirwan Kakai

Sirwan KataiPrior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at Sweden’s Sirwan Kakai as he takes on Danny Martinez at UFC Fight Night 70 in Hollywood, Florida. Sirwan “Zohan” Kakai Hometown: Gothenberg, Sweden Age: 25 Height: 5’6” Reach: N/A Weight Class: Bantamweight Camp: American Top Team Career Record: 11-2 Key Wins: None Key Losses: None Background Despite being only 25 years old, the Swedish fighter has fought in a variety of promotions ranging from Superior Challenges to Pancrase to most recently Titan FC. All but one of his eleven wins has come inside the distance. Strengths

  • Decent foot movement with some variety in his striking
  • Does well to land lower leg kicks
  • Can mix in elbows in both in and out of clinch
  • When he gets top position, can hold position and score from the top
  • Finishes fights strong


  • Slow starter
  • Takedown defense does need some work
  • Leaves himself open to counterstrikes as he rushes in being the aggressor
  • Question marks on chin


    Matchup with Danny Martinez A lot of strange circumstances surround this bout at UFN 70 in Hollywood, Florida. The first factor is the biggest one; both fighters are taking this fight on one week’s notice. Martinez, 0-2 in the UFC, typically fights at flyweight and will be taking this fight at bantamweight. So, perhaps the weight cut will not be an issue as he shouldn’t have to cut too much weight. As for Kakai, he has fought his entire career at bantamweight. So, it will be interesting to see how he handles the weight cut. If both guys have no issues with weight, then it should be a decent bout. Martinez is best at what Kakai struggles with; power punching and wrestling. Martinez absolutely has the ability to hurt Kakai early on. In Kakai’s last two fights, he was dropped by his opponent in the first round. Those two opponents were unable to put him away, but Martinez is a lot more experienced and capable of ending it early. Furthermore, Martinez Is the best wrestler Kakai has ever faced. His takedown defense is rather suspect, so look for Martinez to exploit that throughout the fight. On the flip side, Kakai really does well as the fight goes longer. His best round is the the third round. If the fight gets there, it could get interesting. With that said, Martinez has the tools to score early and either win by knockout or ride out a decision. If he gasses late, it is anyone’s ball game. UFC Ceiling Sirwan Kakai has a decent technical skill set. He has a nice kicking game combined with an ability to real pour it on late in a fight to earn a stoppage. Fighters that do well late in fights have a real opportunity in MMA as conditioning is one of, if not, the most underappreciated attributes in the sport. The thing that worries me most about Kakai is his ability to take a punch. When he faced marginal competition on the regional scene, his chin was tested and he had to survive early on so that he could take over late in those fights. Against the quality of competition he will face in the UFC, he won’t have those same opportunities as better fighters know how to finish fights. That could ultimately be what holds him back from having a lengthy career in the promotion. Fight Film Check out Sirwan Kakai in some of his most recent fights: Sirwan Kakai vs. Joe Barajas   Sirwan Kakai vs. Carl Fawcett    

Written by Jay Primetown

Leave a Reply

MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Five New UFC Bouts Announced

Five Reasons to Watch Bellator 139