clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC Fight Night 79 fight card: Doo Ho Choi vs Sam Sicilia full fight preview

Doo Ho Choi and Sam Sicilia will scrap this Saturday (Nov. 28, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 79 inside Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul, South Korea. In a match up of power punchers, what adjustments must be made for either man to claim victory? Find out below!

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight fighters Doo Ho Choi and Sam Sicilia will hunt for the knockout this Saturday (Nov. 28, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 79 inside Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul, South Korea.

Choi is one of the best 145-pound prospects around, living up to the hype in his Octagon debut with an 18-second knockout victory. Though injuries have kept him out of the cage since, Choi will look to remind fight fans of his potential with another big win in front of his home crowd.

Meanwhile, Sicilia has finally found some consistent success inside UFC. He's won three of his last four and now has the opportunity to take another big step forward by defeating a top prospect.

Let's take a look at the keys to victory for both athletes:

Doo Ho Choi
Record: 12-1
Key Wins: Juan Puig (UFC Fight Night 57)
Key Losses: None
Keys to Victory: Perhaps South Korea's best prospect, Choi fits the mold of many of the top fighters that his country has produced. Quite large for the weight class and physically imposing, Choi has finished nine of his 12 victories via knockout.

In this bout, Choi needs to use his height and length advantage to work the outside. While he definitely could knockout Sicilia by pressuring him and forcing exchanges, that could also lead to him getting himself off-balance and giving up easy takedowns.

Instead, Choi can force Sicilia to come to him. Sicilia has serious knockout power, but he can be a bit sloppy in his attempts to close the distance. Notably, Cole Miller picked Sicilia apart at range and eventually rocked him.

Choi should look to do the same here. Miller may be a tested veteran, but he doesn't have Choi's raw ability or punching power. Therefore, Choi should be able to find similar success blasting Sicilia from range, but his punches will have an even more potent effect on the American.


Sam Sicilia
Record: 15-5
Key Wins: Godofredo Pepey (UFC Fight Night 32), Akira Corassani (UFC on FOX 14), Yaotzin Mesa (UFC Fight Night 71)
Key Losses: Katsunori Kikuno (UFC Fight Night 52), Cole Miller (UFC Fight Night 35), Rony Jason (UFC 153)
Keys to Victory: Sicilia is definitely a rugged bruiser, as he wins the majority of his fights by walking his opponent down with power punches and strong takedowns. He's definitely doing something right, as Sicilia has finished 12 of his opponents, with eight of those wins coming by knockout.

In this bout, Sicilia needs to close the distance quickly. Basically, he needs to being wrestling from the onset of the fight, as standing with "The Korean Superboy" is not likely to end well for him.

If Sicilia can secure an early takedown, great, but that seems unlikely. Instead, Sicilia has to use his wrestling to keep the fight ugly, as he transitions between takedowns and clinch work. Not only will that help stuff his opponent's power, but it will give Sicilia an opportunity to strike in transition.

That's something the American does well, and he does it with power.

Furthermore, that type of fight will be taxing on both men. While Sicilia isn't a cardio machine, he's definitely shored up that part of his game recently. On the other hand, Choi has been finishing his fights quickly and likely cuts a massive amount of weight, which are two major factors in why a fighter will fatigue.

Bottom Line: Choi is one of the best prospects around, and Sicilia is a pretty well-rounded test for him.

At this point, Choi has plenty going for him. He's large, athletic, and dangerous, which are all great traits for a prospect that's still working to round out his game. If he blows through Sicilia -- who's a pretty game veteran -- it definitely says great things about his ceiling.

On the other hand, a loss to Sicilia will reveal where Choi's weaknesses lie. That's still not the worst thing for a young prospect, but it would definitely slow Choi's hype train considerably.

This is also a big moment for Sicilia as well, as it could change the direction his career is heading or solidify his path. Currently, Sicilia seems to be heading towards the role of gatekeeper. While not a truly terrible plight -- look at how much Gleison Tibau makes for split-decisioning half the Lightweight roster at one time or another -- a win over a top-flight prospect like his opponent could earn Sicilia a more high-profile bout.

With a loss, Sicilia position largely remains the same. Sicilia is an exciting mid-card fighter that has a decent chance of scoring a bonus check regardless of whether he wins or loses.

At UFC Fight Night 79, Doo Ho Choi and Sam Sicilia will throw down. Which fighter will have his hand raised?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania