Christmas coming early for two-time UFC heavyweight winner Soa Palelei


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

soa-palelei-ufc-fight-night-33

BRISBANE, Australia – It’s going to be a good Christmas this year for UFC heavyweight Soa Palelei and his family.

Just prior to his showing at UFC Fight Night 33 against Pat Barry (8-7 MMA, 5-7 UFC), the native Aussie got some extra incentive to perform well.

“I got a message from my daughter this morning,” Palelei (20-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) said following the event, which took place at Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Australia and aired on FOX Sports 1. “She wanted some Christmas presents. I was like, ‘Damn, I’ve got to win!’

“But it is a big win, and especially against Pat. But I’m happy to be representing Australia, and putting Australia and Perth on the map.”

Family and country weren’t the only things providing motivation. In his previous octagon outing, he injured his rib prior to the fight and limped through three rounds with Nikita Krylov. He managed a finish, but UFC President Dana White wasn’t shy in expressing how bored he was in watching it.

Because the bout came six years after a lackluster loss in a single UFC appearance, Palelei wanted a third chance to make a first impression.

Thankfully, he did just that. After quickly taking Barry to the ground in the first frame, he quickly took mount and let his hands go. Several punches later, Barry was unconscious, and he was the owner of an impressive win.

The speed at which Palelei advanced position and did damage was a key in his victory.

“I’ve been doing it for the past 16 years,” Palelei said. “I’m a first-degree Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. I’m really confident that if I get on top of you, you ain’t getting me off.”

Although he didn’t test out his thought, Palelei also felt confident he could hang if the fight stayed on its feet. As a sparring partner of the event’s headliner, Mark Hunt, he knew that he could take a punch.

“I know what his punches are like, and I knew Pat wouldn’t hit harder than Mark,” he said. “But I had to watch out for Pat’s kicks, because he’s got some real dangerous kicks.”

Like most fighters, Palelei differed to his management and the UFC to name his next opponent. But six-year gaps in his UFC record are a thing of the past.

“If the UFC tells me to fight another show, I’m happy to hop in there,” he said. “I’ll take a few weeks for Christmas break, but I’m ready.”

Although Palelei is 36 and has a limited amount of time to make an impact, his cause is aided by the heavyweight division’s relative lack of depth.

While Barry likely faces question about his viability, Palelei is proving his.

“I respect Pat as an athlete and a sportsman,” Palelei said. “He’s a really dangerous fighter. I was really worried about his kicks, but I played my game and hopefully, I made a statement today.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 33, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 24 days ago
  • 79 views

UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve is in good spirits after suffering an episode backstage at UFC 175 that left him unable to fight Matt Mitrione. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

  • 22 days ago
  • 83 views

It hasn't been a good day for the UFC flyweight division. Shortly after it was reported that top Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight contender John Dodson would be sidelined for up to a year following ACL surgery, the 125-pound division was dealt another crushing blow. Damon Martin of FOX Sports is reporting that Ali Bagautinov tested positive for Recombinant Human Erythropoietin (EPO) -- a hormone that controls red blood cell production -- after his title fight against 125-pound cham read news >>

  • 8 days ago
  • 21 views

It took over a year, but Diaz is back in the Octagon. Nick Diaz has returned to the UFC. Good news for fans of trash talk and action fights, bad news for guys who aren't fans of Nick Diaz. Diaz went into retirement shortly after losing to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 158 in March of last year. While sitting on the sidelines, he had a lot of criticism of the UFC's monetary stinginess and exactly what kind of fights or contract that it would take to get him back in the Octagon. For a long time it sou read news >>

  • 7 days ago
  • 11 views

The UFC has signed a new heavyweight to the ranks, 39 year old Legacy FC vet Richard Odoms. I keep saying that heavyweight MMA is a weird place, it's own special deal; a world in which the normal laws of MMA talent acquisition and scouting don't really apply. It's signings like this that confirm that world view to me. Because, by any sensible measure, the UFC's signing of Richard Odoms is weird. But, for heavyweight MMA, it's normal. Or at least near enough. His signing was announced by the UFC read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 81 views

A look at the turbulent year of 2011 in the career of Chael Sonnen. Including his battles with athletic commissions and return to the cage after a suspension for his failed drug test following the first Anderson Silva bout. When last we left Chael Sonnen, he was embattled in a public tussle with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. If you missed part one, you can read it here. Sonnen had gone in front of the California commission following a failed drug test in California and claimed that he'd read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 104 views

Undefeated UFC light heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier has offered extremely high praise for UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman heading into his UFC 175 showdown with Lyoto Machida. In a promo on Fox Sports for UFC 175, which airs live on pay-per-view from Las Vegas on Saturday, "DC" states outright that Weidman is the best middleweight around and could be considered the best at 205 pounds. Here's the transcription, per MixedMartialArts.com: To be the man, you have to beat the man. Weidm read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 135 views

Thiago Santos says his fight with Uriah Hall will probably end in a knockout on Saturday at UFC 175.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 42 views

Their heavyweight rematch is expected to serve as event headliner. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is giving former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski a chance at redemption against heavyweight slugger Antonio Silva, as the pair will reportedly hook 'em up for a second time inside the cage at UFC Fight Night 51, which takes place on Sept. 13, 2014 inside Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia. Globo reported the news (via MMA Fighting) on Thursday night. Arlovski (22-10) lost to the Brazilia read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 193 views

Matt Hughes, who now works as a VP of Athlete Development for the UFC, thinks Georges St-Pierre should just hang up the gloves for good. Georges St-Pierre is still undecided whether he would eventually come back from his extended layoff or not, but a fellow long time UFC welterweight champion had some friendly advice for him. Matt Hughes spoke about St-Pierre, and despite now holding a VP job with the UFC, he thinks one of the promotion's biggest stars should just 'get out' and hang it up for go read news >>