(Photo via Cade Brown)
Australian Soa “The Hulk” Palelei returns to the UFC’s Octagon tomorrow morning (Australian time) for the first time in nearly six years when he faces Nikita “The Al Capone” Krylov on the preliminary card of UFC 164.
The Perth based heavyweight successfully made weight for the heavyweight limit coming in at 265 pounds, while his opponent Nikita Krylov from Ukraine weighed in 29 pounds less at 236 pounds.
Palelei made his professional debut back in 2002 and since then has since built an 18-3 record which currently includes an eight fight win streak. Palelei first got his big opportunity on the international stage back at Pride 28, but despite dominating the fight, gassed and was put away late in the fight by submission. He got a one-off opportunity in the UFC in 2007 but lost to Eddie Sanchez via a third round TKO and Palelei returned to fighting on the local scene. His only loss in the eleven bouts since then came to Daniel Cormier with notable wins over Yusuke Kawaguchi and Sean McCorkle.
Krylov will have youth on his side and has been quick a rise for the 21 year-old who only made his professional debut in July 2012. Quite remarkably Krylov fought thirteen times in the 6 months after making his debut with all but his last fight having been in his native Ukraine. His only two losses came to Vladimir Mishchenko who both times submitted him with Arm-Triangle choke in the first round of both fights.
Sportsbet.com.au currently has Krylov as the clear favourite paying 1.48 while Palelei at 2.54.
The event is being headlined by a UFC Lightweight title as UFC Lightweight Champion, Henderson will be looking to avenge the last loss on his record when he faced Anthony Pettis. Also on the card, heavyweight Josh Barnett returns to the UFC when he faces Frank Mir in a battle of former UFC heavyweight champions.
The main card will be shown in Australian on Mainevent Pay-per-view.
Main Card (Mainevent Pay Per View @ 12pm):
- Benson Henderson (155 lbs/70.3 kgs) vs Anthony Pettis (155 lbs/70.3 kgs)
- Frank Mir (248 lbs/112.5 kgs) vs Josh Barnett (255 lbs/115.6 kgs)
- Chad Mendes (145 lbs/65.7 kgs) vs Clay Guida (146 lbs/66.2 kgs)
- Ben Rothwell (262 lbs/118.8 kgs) vs Brandon Vera (241 lbs/109.3 kgs)
- Erik Koch (145 lbs/65.7 kgs) vs Dustin Poirier (145.5 lbs/65.9 kgs)
Preliminary Card (Fuel TV @ 10am):
- Jamie Varner (156 lbs/70.7 kgs) vs Gleison Tibau (155 lbs/70.3 kgs)
- Louis Gaudinot (125 lbs/56.7 kgs) vs Tim Elliott (125.5 lbs/56.9 kgs)
- Pascal Krauss (170 lbs/77.1 kgs) vs Hyun Gyu Lim (171 lbs/77.5 kgs)
- Chico Camus (135 lbs/61.2 kgs) vs Kyung Ho Kang (136 lbs/61.7 kgs)
Preliminary Card (Facebook/Youtube @ 8:30am):
- Nikita Krylov (236 lbs/107.4 kgs) vs Soa Palelei (265 lbs/120.2 kgs)
- Ryan Couture (156 lbs/70.7 kgs) vs Al Iaquinta (156 lbs/70.7 kgs)
- Jared Hamman (185.5 lbs/84.1 kgs) vs Magnus Cedenblad (185 lbs/84.1 kgs)