Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series contract winner Punahele Soriano (6-0) makes his UFC debut against a decided step up in competition in Oskar Piechota (11-2-1). The Middleweight clash will take place at UFC 245 in Las Vegas as the opening bout on the early prelims. While Piechota is 1-2 in his UFC run thus far he is certainly more dangerous than the fighters Soriano has victories over in his regional run. For starters Piechota actually has wins on his record.
Punahele Soriano has the power, Piechota has the slickness
That being said it does seem like this is a fight for Soriano to win. Piechota is there to be hit and is quite weak against takedowns against the cage. Hitting people really hard and shooting for power double leg takedowns against the cage is basically Soriano’s whole game. While unrefined Soriano does possess a great deal compelling attributes. As previously mentioned he has great power doubles, he is a big middleweight, he has Rozenstruik-like boop knockout power, and probably the most compelling is his willingness to throw punches. A grappler who is willing to trade is far more dangerous than one desperate to shoot for shots. The unpredictability of whether a shot or an overhand right is coming makes technically better strikers unable to attack or defend properly.
Piechota is no slouch off his back as he showed in his fight against Rodolfo Viera (6-0). Piechota was able to survive with the more accomplished grappler on top for long stretches of their bout. Although he lost, Piechota proved he could submit or sweep Soriano during their fight. One other thing Piechota has going for him is his long reach and willingness to throw the jab. It is not the most educated but it will likely land with regularity against the come forward style of Soriano. That just might be enough to deter Soriano from the striking exchanges and shoot for takedown where Piechota can pull off a sweep and take top control from there.
UFC 245 opens up with an interesting match
Punahele Soriano could be a future prospect if he can develop his skills in time. This is the biggest test of Soriano’s career but one he can pass if he implements his game and is cautious on the ground. Soriano should look for a counter off Piechota’s left hook as Piechota often throws himself off balance when he misses the strike.
All in all UFC 245 should open up with a sloppy banger that will be entertaining to watch.
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