George Sotiropoulos’ position on the UFC roster will be in question, following a fourth straight UFC loss earlier today at UFC 166. Sotiropoulos lost via a unanimous decision to KJ Noons. It was better news for adopted Australian Hector Lombard (pictured) who scored an impressive first round TKO over Nate Marquardt in his welterweight debut.
Both fights occurred on the preliminary card portion of the UFC 166 card held at the Toyota Centre, in Houston, Texas, and shown live in Australia on Fuel TV. The event was headlined by a UFC Heavyweight showdown between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos which was shown live on Mainevent pay-per-view.
We start with the Sotiropoulos vs Noons fight though, where the bout began with both fighters hesitating to exchange. Noons did take the centre of the cage and was pressuring the action however neither fighter landed anything substantial. Noons took a finger in the eye, with Sotiropoulos sticking his hand out to push him away.
The action started to unfold in the second round, where Sotiropoulos looked for an early takedown which was stuffed by Noons. A following takedown got the fight to the ground, but against the cage, Noons was easily able to get back to his feet. Sotiropoulos though started to landed strikes on his feet as Noons started to swing wildly, looking for the knockout shot.
You could argue that the first two rounds were split, there was everything to fight for coming into the third. Noons landed a solid right early followed shortly after by another one. Another big right had Sotiropoulos on wobbly legs, however Noons stayed patient and didn’t run in. By this time, Sotiropoulos was bloody and looked for a takedown but it was defended twice by Noons. Sotiropoulos lands a trifecta of leg kicks, before mixing it up and going high with a head kick that connects.
The decision was unanimous as Noons walked away with the victory 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
After winning his first seven fights in the octagon, Sotiropoulos has now lost his last fourth and will be lucky to keep his position on the roster. Sotiropoulos’ record drops to 14-6 as Noons wins his first UFC fight to to take his professional record to 12-7.
Fireworks were expected as a much slimmer Hector Lombard came up against for UFC middleweight title contender Nate Marquardt. In particular Lombard fashion, when the fight began he immediately took center of the cage and stalked his opponent. It wasn’t long before Lombard was looking for the finish, as a overhand right and quick left had Marquardt on the back foot. Lombard landed another left hand to send Marquardt to the canvas where some follow up shots sealed the deal. The end came only 1:48 into the fight.
Lombard who wasn’t originally keen on the idea of moving to welterweight, immediately thanked the UFC for pushing him in that direction.
“I feel great. A few people doubted me that I could make 170, but I did it easier than when I was at 185”, Lombard said in his post fight speech.
“I think Dana White, Joe Silva and the rest of the UFC was right for me to cut down to 170. I was wrong, they were right.”
Lombard then started campaigning for a spot on the UFC Brisbane card. “I want to fight in front of my son, friends and fans in Australia,” Lombard said.
With 13 fights on the UFC Fight Night 33 card set to occur in Brisbane on December 7, the big question will be if they can fit him in. UFC president Dana White indicated that they will look into the possibility of squeezing him on that card.
With the win, Lombard moves his professional record to 33-4 (1 draw, 1 no-contest) while Marquardt drops his third straight fight.
The main event was headlined by Cain Velasquez who successfully defended his UFC heavyweight title with a dominating fifth round TKO stoppage over Junior Dos Santos.
Main Card (Mainevent PPV)
- Cain Velasquez def Junior Dos Santos via TKO (Slam & Punches), Rd 5, 3:09
- Daniel Cormier def Roy Nelson via Decision (Unanimous)
- Gilbert Melendez def Diego Sanchez via Decision (Unanimous)
- Gabriel Gonzaga def Shawn Jordan via KO (Punches), Rd 1, 1:33
- John Dodson def Darrell Montague via KO (Punch), Rd 1, 4:13
Preliminary Card (Fuel TV):
- Tim Boetsch def C.B Dollaway via Decision (Split)
- Hector Lombard def Nate Marquardt via KO (Punches), Rd 1, 1:48
- Jessica Eye def Sarah Kaufman via Decision (Split)
- K.J. Noons def George Sotiropoulos via Decision (Unanimous)
Preliminary Card (Youtube/Facebook):
- Adlan Amagov def T.J. Waldburger via KO (Punches), Rd 1, 3:00
- Tony Ferguson def Mike Rio via Submission (Brabo Choke), Rd 1, 1:52
- Andre Fili def Jeremy Larsen via TKO (Punches), Rd 2, 0:53
- Kyoji Horiguchi def Dustin Pague via TKO (Punches), Rd 2, 3:51