This Friday Night (in America)/This Saturday Night (in Australia): Ross Pearson vs George Sotiropoulos

There was a time when George Sotiropoulos was thought to be next in line for a lightweight title shot. His submission grappling was a beautiful sight. The way he outgrappled Joe Stevenson and Joe Lauzon was not only effective but so stylish. He brought the sizzle to his steak. Yet that seems like such a long time ago.

Sotiropoulos was stepping into the cage with Dennis Siver in February 2011, highly favored and riding on a eight fight win streak. Siver, who showcased his much improved takedown defense and poked through Sotiropoulos’ striking weakness walked away with the clear decision win that night. If that wasn’t bad enough, Rafael dos Anjos KO’d Sotiropoulos with one punch later that Summer. After more than a year, Sotiropoulos is now trying to claw his way back up the high lightweight ladder to try to reclaim his contendership status.

Ross Pearson has also had his ups and downs. He outpointed Dennis Siver before being finished by Cole Miller in an awesome fight in 2010. Pearson would go on to have close fights with Spencer Fisher (which he won), Edson Barboza (which he lost), Junior Assuncao (which he won but probably should have lost). Then he got KO’d in nasty fashion against Cub Swanson earlier this Summer, in a fight that showed that Swanson has improved since his WEC days. So now, he’s jumping back up to lightweight (his two featherweight bouts were against Swanson and Assuncao) to breathe new life into his career.

In 2010, this fight would have likely had title contendership implications. Not anymore, but it’s still a really good fight. Pearson’s going to bring his busy fists and Sotiropoulos is going to attempt to showcase his whimsical grappling. It’s going to be a neat affair of diverse action, made even better since Golden Boy Promotions and former WEC cage/ring announcer Joe Martinez will be making the introductions. Who will Martinez announce as the winner that evening?

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