Peter Sobotta vs Kyle Noke Preview and Analysis – UFC 193

403025-kyle-noke-v-josh-bryantTaking place on UFC 193’s Fox Sports 1 preliminary card is a welterweight contest between veterans Peter Sobotta and Kyle Noke. Sobotta has won two in a row since returning to the UFC last year, while Noke has lost three out of his last five, but managed to squeak by newcomer Jonavin Webb in May.   Peter Sobotta (15-4-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC, -190 favorite) There were many fans that were surprised when the UFC resigned Peter Sobotta in early 2014. After all, he went 0-3 in his first stint in the promotion from 2009 to 2010. However, Sobotta was only 22 years old at the time and was not the seasoned fighter that he is today. After being released from the UFC, the German went on a 6 fight unbeaten streak that included five straight wins by rear-naked choke. Those wins caught the eye of Joe Silva, and when the UFC announced they were returning to Germany in 2014, Sobotta seemed like a natural fit for the card. Facing Pawel Pawlak in his first fight back with the UFC, Sobotta dominated the fight for three rounds with his superior striking and grappling. The German then followed that up with a first round submission victory over Steve Kennedy in June. He now looks to earn his third straight win since returning to the world’s largest mixed martial arts promotion. While Sobotta is known mostly for his jiu jitsu and submission wrestling accolades, he has worked hard to shore up the other areas of his game. Fighting out of a southpaw stance, Sobotta works a clean jab, straight right, and hard rear-leg kicks to all levels. He is especially adept at finishing combinations with hard outside leg kicks. Further, his defense is also much improved, especially his head movement and distance control. As I mentioned, Sobotta is known for his grappling. He has won numerous jiu jitsu and submission wrestling competitions over the years and was recently given his black belt in jiu jitsu under Dean Lister. While the 28 year old has a variety of submissions at his disposal, seven of his ten submission victories have come via rear-naked choke. He has also won fights via armbar and triangle choke. Additionally, Sobotta also has the wrestling to get his opponent to the mat when he wants or needs to. He has a nice double-leg that he finishes with authority, as well as potent single-legs and trips from the clinch. Once top position is achieved Sobotta stays active with ground and pound and always looks to pass to a dominant position. He has a knack for taking his opponent’s back, hence the seven wins by rear-naked choke. Conditioning is also a strong aspect of Sobotta’s game, as he can push a hard pace for three full rounds that often leave his opponent exhausted.   Kyle Noke (21-7-1 MMA, 5-3 UFC, +165 underdog) Many UFC fans remember Noke as one of the competitors on season eleven of The Ultimate Fighter. While he did not win the show, he did have a good showing and was given a UFC contract after the show. Noke took advantage of his opportunity by winning his first three UFC fights, all by finish. His first three opponents were not exactly the greatest fighters in the word and he would hit a stumbling block in his next two fights, as he was submitted quickly by Ed Herman and lost a decision to Andrew Craig. Noke bounced back in his next contest in September of 2012 by starching Charlie Brenneman in the first round. However, he was unable to build off that momentum because he suffered a bad shoulder injury and then decided to coach Team Australia in The Ultimate Fighter Nations. He fought the other coach on the show, Patrick Cote, on the show’s finale but lost a clear decision. The Australian tried to get right back in the cage after the loss, but the injury bug hit him again and a knee injury forced him to pull out of a planned fight against Yoshihiro Akiyama in September of 2014. After another long layoff, Noke returned to the cage this past May and won a highly controversial decision over promotional newcomer Jonavin Webb. Many observers, including myself, though Webb did more than enough to win. The 35 year old Noke has a pretty well-rounded game, but is not great in any one area. Fighting out of an orthodox stance, he has a decent jab and a strong straight right, which he mixes up with a variety of kicks. In fact, he uses kicks quite a bit to keep his opponent on the outside and keep the distance he desires. While he is not a huge knockout threat, he does have decent power in his strikes. The area where Noke has had the most trouble is with his defensive wrestling. Cote, a natural striker, took him down at will, and Webb also took him down pretty much whenever he wanted to even though Noke was much bigger than him. Further, Noke is not great at creating space and scrambling back to his feet or threatening with submissions from his back. That could be problematic against someone like Sobotta who has great top control and will jump on any opportunity to pass or lock in a submission. Additionally, Noke tends to tire in the later rounds, which makes defending takedowns even harder.   Thoughts I think this is Sobotta’s fight to lose. He has a more varied attack and can exploit Noke’s suspect takedown defense. Sobotta’s striking has improved greatly and he throws a lot more volume than Noke. Age and all the injuries Noke has sustained over the years may have caught up to the Australian. Sobotta is the younger, fresher fighter and he should be able to dictate where this fight takes place. I like his chances of taking Sobotta down, taking his back, and locking in a rear-naked choke for his third consecutive UFC win.   The Prediction: Peter Sobotta defeats Kyle Noke by submission (rear-naked choke, round 2)

Written by Mike James

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