One of the featured bouts of UFC 116 is a light heavyweight contest featuring Krzysztof Soszynski and Stephan Bonnar.
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This fight is a rematch of a contest that took place at UFC 110 on Feb. 20. Soszynski won the bout when the fight was stopped because of a cut that Bonnar received. Bonnar protested that the cut happened because of a head butt, but Soszynski was crowned as the winner.
Soszynski enters the fight as the favorite to win with a betting line of -218 with Bonnar given a line of +195 according to online sports book Sportsbook.com. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this bout, which will take place from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in
Krzysztof Soszynski (21-9-1):
Strengths: Just your typical grinder, Soszynski is solid in most areas but not overly dominant in any one. He has good submission skills, especially with the kimura, and he has solid grappling ability. Soszynski isn’t a bad striker, but he typically uses his striking to set up other things like takedowns or clinches. Also, as a man who used to fight at heavyweight, Soszynski is a big 205-pounder with a lot of strength.
Weaknesses: Again, without having that dominant skill set, Soszynski is somewhat of a gate-keeper in the division. He has beaten some solid fighters, but hasn’t been able to pick up that marquee win to push him into the top 10 of the division. In this fight, he needs to continue to work the game plan he had at UFC 110, and he should get the biggest win of his career in definitive fashion.
Last Five Fights:
Third round TKO win over Stephan Bonnar at UFC 110 on Feb. 20, 2010
Unanimous decision loss to Brandon Vera at UFC 102 on Aug. 29, 2009
First round KO win over Andre Gusmao at UFC 98 on May 23, 2009
First round submission win over Brian Stann at UFC 97 on April 18, 2009
Second round submission win over Shane Primm at Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale on Dec. 13, 2008
Stephan Bonnar (11-7):
Strengths: Bonnar is a good all-around fighter that has sharp boxing technique and submission skills. While not having knockout power, Bonnar can fatigue his opponents with repetitive strikers and once he gets them tired, he can get the fight to the ground and lock in a submission. Bonnar is also a scrapper, as he is tough to finish, having been stopped just twice in his career.
Weaknesses: Once a darling for his memorable war with Forrest Griffin, Bonnar has now lost five of his last seven fights, including the loss to Soszynski, which did come from a head butt, but Bonnar was likely down two rounds before that took place. Bonnar’s biggest problem is that he has struggled against guys that are either stronger than him or faster on their feet than him. He is a scrapper, but he just doesn’t have what it takes to contend in the UFC right now. He needs a win desperately on Saturday.
Last Five Fights:
Third round TKO loss to Krzysztof Soszynski at UFC 110 on Feb. 20, 2010
Unanimous decision loss to Mark Coleman at UFC 100 on July 11, 2009
Unanimous decision loss to Jon Jones at UFC 94 on Jan. 31, 2009
Second round TKO win over Eric Schafer at UFC 77 on Oc. 20, 2007
First round submission win over Mike Nickels at UFC 73 on July 7, 2007
Who will win: There was little doubt that Soszynski was on his way to a decision win before the cut took place in the first fight and we have a hard time seeing this fight go any differently as Bonnar hasn’t changed up his training at all since he first got into the UFC. Bonnar would be wise to mix things up in hopes or rejuvenating his career, but that hasn’t happened yet. Look for Soszynski to control the fight and win a decision.
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Posted: 7/2/10 6:58PM ET