After Jake Ellenberger suffered an injury heading into his UFC Fight Night 34 bout with Tarec Saffiedine, an unlikely main event was made when Korean Top Team-trained prospect Hyun Gyu Lim was promoted to battle "The Sponge" at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
While the original fight was definitely interesting, the re-worked main event might actually turn out to be more exciting. Saffiedine and Lim can both be called strikers, but their approaches to the stand up is extremely different, meaning their clash of styles could make for a very good and entertaining scrap on "Fight Pass" digital network.
Saffiedine -- an adept kickboxer from Brussels, Belgium -- has shown to be very proficient in the striking department. Crisp, tight boxing and great kicks, especially to the legs, make him an opponent who can easily take control of a stand up battle. He isn't always the most aggressive, but he is capable of very good counter striking, as well as initiating exchanges.
Lim, on the other hand, is pretty much just a lanky brawler. His strikes pack a ton of power, and while he isn't completely inept when it comes to technique, he is certainly hittable ... and many of his punches are easy to avoid. That said, he throws with such reckless abandon that if his opponent isn't careful, he could very easily land a finishing blow, be it with his hands, feet, elbows or knees.
A very big factor in this fight will be the size difference between these two men. Saffiedine is a fairly average Welterweight, not particularly undersized, but he isn't one of the big bruisers of the division. Lim, however, may be the largest 170-pound fighters on UFC's roster, with a long reach and a 6'3" frame. Lim's long reach, combined with his aggression and power, could give Saffiedine some big problems even though he is the markedly better technical striker.
This fight could also come down to some other factors, one of which is Lim's questionable cardio. I don't doubt his ability to give Saffiedine a good fight for the first round or so, but if he can't finish the fight within that amount of time, Saffiedine will pick him apart for the remainder of the bout. Lim's last UFC fight was on the "Prelims" under card of UFC 164, which means he's taking a big step up here ... and he could be consumed with the significance of it all.
Ultimately, what we're looking at in the UFC Fight Night 34 main event is a battle between a quick, technical kickboxer and a powerful, massive brawler. Lim will look to test Saffiedine's chin, while Saffiedine will likely be counter striking for much of the bout. All it takes from Lim is one big punch, but expect Saffiedine to avoid the big strikes and make this a technical fight.
Nonetheless, Saffiedine and Lim will to go for broke, which will make for a very good fight when it's main event time in Singapore. Perhaps even the "Fight of the Night" once the all the dust settles ...