UFC Fight Night 24 fight card: Amir Sadollah vs DeMarques Johnson preview


This Saturday night, March 26, 2011, live on Spike TV at 10 p.m. ET, Amir Sadollah will take on DeMarques Johnson at UFC Fight Night 24: "Nogueira vs. Davis."

Both welterweights are working to get in the proverbial mix, as they have both shown signs of inconsistency while they've toiled among middle tier competition.

Throwdown Training Center's own, Sadollah, has won most of his UFC bouts via decision and has yet to finish an opponent inside the Octagon since winning The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season seven.

As for the Elite Performance protege, Johnson, he's coming off a submission victory over Mike Guymon, in which he forced him to tap via body triangle. While Johnson may lack consistency, he has shown finishing ability in both his striking and grappling games, as he's earned both "Submission of the Night" and "Knockout of the Night" honors in his young career.

Is Sadollah primed to finally finish another fight? Or will Johnson use him as a stepping stone on his way to the 170-pound elite?

Check out our breakdown of Amir Sadollah vs. DeMarques Johnson after the jump:

DeMarques Johnson

Record: 12-8 overall, 3-2 in the UFC

Key Wins: Brad Blackburn (UFC 112), Edgar Garcia (UFC 107), Mike Guymon (UFC Fight for the Troops 2)

Key Losses: James Wilks (TUF 9 Finale), Brock Larson (Extreme Challenge 63), Matthew Riddle (UFC on Versus 2)

How he got here: It's been quite a bumpy career road for Johnson, as he amassed a record of 9-6 before joining TUF season nine. However, it was on that season that Johnson impressed, as he defeated Ray Elbe, Dean Amasinger, and Nick Osipczak on his way to the Finale. He came up short, though, losing by way of submission to James Wilks. However, since that loss, Johnson has defeated the likes of Brad Blackburn and Mike Guymon in impressive fashion, as he's steadily building a rather respectable UFC resume. 

How he gets it done: The 28-year-old Johnson needs to find a way drag this fight to the mat. He has spent a lot of time training under Brazilian jiu-jitsu stylist and MMA veteran Jeremy Horn, and he needs to utilize that same type of grappling skill to get the job done, as Sadollah is likely the superior striker. That's not to say he won't need to be at the very least proficient standing-up. After all, that's how he'll have to set up his takedowns.

Amir Sadollah

Record: 4-2 overall, 4-2 in the UFC

Key Wins: C.B. Dollaway (TUF 7 Finale) Phil Baroni (UFC 106), Brad Blackburn (UFC Fight Night 20)

Key Losses: Johny Hendricks (UFC 101), Dong Hyun Kim (UFC 114)

How he got here: The Richmond, Virginia native first made waves when he auditioned for the now defunct IFL and he did so well that Dana White wanted him on TUF season nine. From there, the MMA rookie shocked the world as he defeated Gerald Harris, Matt Brown, and C.B. Dollaway on the show. After defeating Dollaway once again, Amir dropped down to welterweight and has gone 3-2 in his last five bouts, amassing wins over the likes of Phil Baroni and Brad Blackburn. Since losing to Dong Hyun Kim back in May of last year, the 30-year-old has rebounded with a decision victory over Peter Sobotta at UFC 122.

How he gets it done:  For Sadollah to get it done, the TUF seven winner has to be sure to keep his defensive wrestling tight and use his vastly improved kickboxing. While Amir isn't a finisher on his feet, he puts together some very solid combinations, enough so that Johnson should struggle mightily and that's where he'll have the best chance to win. 

Fight "X Factor:" I believe Sadollah will hold a significant advantage in conditioning. Johnson has shown in past fights that if you can make him fight your style, he will tire out, as the fight goes along. Also, Amir has gone the distance four times in his UFC career and has never shown any signs of slowing down, keeping a tremendous work rate with his striking.

Bottom Line: All of the oddsmakers for UFC Fight Night 24 have the fight in favor of Sadollah and I really can't disagree. While the TUF season seven winner has yet to finish anyone in the welterweight division in dramatic fashion, he's got enough tools in his arsenal to make this fight rough for Johnson. I envision Sadollah capturing a unanimous decision victory by continuously using his takedown defense to set up his superior striking. 

Who do you think will take the next step up in the welterweight division? Tell us here!

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