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

  • 26 days ago
  • 43 views

Heavyweight freight trains Soa Palelei and Jared Rosholt are set to collide in the co-main event of Saturday's (June 28, 2014) UFC Fight Night 43 from Auckland, New Zealand. Undefeated in their last 17 combined bouts, will "Hulk" continue to smash through the rankings, or is time for "Big Show" to score a big win? Read our fight preview to find out! Surging Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweights Soa Palelei and Jared Rosholt are set to square off in the co-main event of UFC Fight Nigh more

  • 25 days ago
  • 42 views

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Jared Rosholt used a dominant wrestling attack to get past Soa Palelei.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 25 days ago
  • 19 views

The co-main event of UFC Fight Night 43 in New Zealand saw a pair of the big boys collide, as Oceania's own Soa Palelei took on Jared Rosholt. It was a battle that was expected to be a grueling match, and it lived up to the expectations. The bout was a grinding affair. Rosholt was able to use superior wrestling and sneaky striking to completely outhustle Palelei to a clear unanimous decision. Some fans may not have been the most pleased with the bout, but it was a great tactical win for the Amer more

  • 29 days ago
  • 46 views

Antonio Silva is clearly angling for a UFC fight with fellow veteran heavyweight Josh Barnett, though it appears to be doing little good.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 28 days ago
  • 28 views

UFC light heavyweight Soa Palelei is making a quick turnaround by fighting Jared Rosholt two months after beating Ruan Potts, but he hasn’t stopped training between fights. Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 27 days ago
  • 53 views

What does a victory mean for James Te Huna, Nate Marquardt, Cub Swanson and Jeremy Stephens this upcoming weekend in their respective fights taking place in New Zealand and Texas? We explore the consequences below, ahead of their tussles at UFC Fight Night 43 and Fight Night 44, respectively. Get ready for another double-header weekend full of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) battles in two different continents. Don't act so thrilled. After an exhaustive Saturday in May saw UFC Fight Night 4 more

  • 22 days ago
  • 32 views

From Yahoo Sports: Struve was diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve in 2013. After treatment he is back and has been assured by doctors that he is at no greater risk than any other fighter. more

  • 20 days ago
  • 28 views

What does victory mean for Chris Weidman, Lyoto Machida, Ronda Rousey, and Alexis Davis ahead of their respective headlining fights this weekend (Sat., July 5, 2014) at UFC 175: “Weidman vs. Machida” at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada? We explore the consequences below. Let us explore the glory, shall we? UFC 175: "Weidman vs. Machida" will take place this upcoming Saturday night (July 5, 2014) from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, with a card that took a bit of a more

  • 28 days ago
  • 35 views

“The Ultimate Fighter: China” featherweight tournament will finally get some resolution when the final takes place in August at UFC Fight Night 48.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC more