Stevenson-Sotiropoulos

One of the featured bouts of UFC 110 is a matchup between lightweights Joe Stevenson and George Sotiropoulus.

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Once a top contender in the lightweight (155 lbs.) division, Stevenson is working his way back to the title picture and face Sotiropoulos, who was a member of season six of the Ultimate Fighter, and has won four straight in the octagon. Stevenson enters the fight as the favorite with a money line of -270, while Jardine is at +240 according to online sports book SBGGLOBAL. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this bout, which will take place from the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia on Saturday at 10PM ET on Pay-Per View.
Joe Stevenson (36-10):
Strengths
: Stevenson is a great wrestler that has used that to control fights. Stevenson has a short but compact body that tends to make him stronger than his opponents. On the ground, Stevenson has good striking from within the guard, but his greatest weapon is his submission skills, especially the guillotine choke. In his career, Stevenson has won fight fights, three in the UFC, by guillotine choke. In this fight, he may look to use his striking to keep the fight standing, as his opponent is an equally strong submission fighter.
Weaknesses: Stevenson has become somewhat of a gate keeper in the lightweight division, as he has beaten some strong contender, but has not been able to beat an elite-level fighter. In his only title fight, Stevenson was dominated by B.J. Penn, and then Stevenson followed that up with convincing losses to Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez. Following the losses, Stevenson made a change to working with trainer Greg Jackson, and has since won two-straight, including a solid submission win over Spencer Fisher. This fight will show if Stevenson truly is evolving as a fighter.
Last Five Fights:
Second round submission win over Spencer Fisher at UFC 104 on Oct. 24, 2009

Unanimous decision win over Nate Diaz at Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale on June 20, 2009

Unanimous decision loss to Diego Sanchez at UFC 95 on Feb. 21, 2009

First round submission loss to Kenny Florian at UFC 91 on Nov. 15, 2008

Second round submission win over Gleison Tibau at UFC 86 on July 5, 2008
 
George Sotiropoulos (11-2):

Strengths: A very aggressive and quick fighter, Sotiropoulos likes to win by submission. Seven of his 11-career wins have combe by submission, including three in the UFC. He is very solid with arm submissions, as once the fight gets to the ground, he is quick and active in working to find a limb and make it snap. His quickness also applies to his striking, as he has a long reach on his jab that keeps his smaller opponents from getting inside his reach.

Weaknesses: Sotiropoulos has not fought someone the caliber of Stevenson as his four wins in the octagon are against low-level fighters. While he has shown he is clearly above average in talent, this fight is his chance to show he can compete with the best in the 155-pound division. An Australia native, he will certainly have the fan support, but that can only carry him so far.

Last Five Fights:

Second round submission win over Jason Dent at UFC 106 on Nov. 21, 2009

Second round submission win over George Roop at UFC 101 on Aug. 8, 2009

Second round TKO win over Roman Mitichyan at UFC Fight Night 13 on April 2, 2008

First round submission win over Billy Miles at Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale on Dec. 8, 2007

Second round submission win over Jung Hwan Cha at Spirit MC 11 on April 22, 2007
 
Who will win: Stevenson should win on paper, but Sotiropoulos has a lot of things going for him in this fight. He seems to be the hungrier fighter, he has the fan support, and this is his first main card fight on pay-per view. A win for George will be a milestone in his career, while Stevenson will probably not climb much higher in the rankings with a victory. Stevenson seems to have nothing to gain and everything to lose. If there is a surprise upset on this card, look for it to be here with a Sotiropoulos decision victory.

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Posted: 2/20/10 12:16PM ET

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