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UFC Fight Night 64 fight card: Pawal Pawlek vs Sheldon Wescott fight preview

Pawal Pawlak and Sheldon Wescott will battle this Saturday (April 11, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 64 inside the Krakow Arena in Krakow, Poland. In a collision of two men in dire need of a win, what adjustments must be made for either fighter in order to claim victory? Find out how below!


Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweights Pawal Pawlak and Sheldon Wescott will slug it out this Saturday (April 11, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 64, live on UFC Fight Pass from inside the Krakow Arena in Krakow, Poland.

After finding great success on the regional scene in Eastern Europe, Pawlak faltered in his UFC debut opposite Peter Sobotta. He'll hope to achieve different results here, as he otherwise risks being released.

Wescott had a fairly successful run on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) "Nations," but he lost in the finale in a forgettable showing. Like his opponent, Wescott needs a victory to prevent his UFC career from ending before it really begins.

Let's take a look at the keys to victory for each man.

Pawel Pawlak

Record: 10-1

Key Wins: None

Key Losses: Peter Sobotta (UFC Fight Night 41)

Keys to Victory: Despite his six finishes via knockout, Pawlak is not much of a striker. Instead, he's a talented grappler from top position, which has lead to most of his finishes.

While Pawlak's submission grappling seems to be pretty sound, the rest of his game leaves a lot to be desired. His kickboxing, while fairly passable overall, very often comes one shot at a time, which got him in trouble against Sobotta. Additionally, his takedowns are okay, but they're not yet at the level to threaten most welterweights.

Luckily, Pawlak is young, developing, and could potentially still take this fight. His opponent struggled in his last bout with conditioning, and that was at middleweight. Since the drop to welterweight will likely impair his cardio further, Pawlak needs to force his opponent to work.

To do so, Pawlak needs to pressure his opponent standing. He likely won't find major success in that area, but Wescott likes to grapple -- an area in which Pawlak could be competitive -- and will likely attempt a takedown if pressured.

From there, Pawlak can continue to make his opponent work, even if it has to be from the bottom. As Wescott tires, Pawlak can take the initiative with his own takedowns. If the Polish fighter does get on top of a tired Wescott, he's in a strong position to finish.

Sheldon Wescott

Record: 8-2

Key Wins: Nic Herron-Webb (AFC 17)

Key Losses: Elias Theodorou (TUF: "Nations" Finale)

Keys to Victory: Wescott is set to make his welterweight debut after getting manhandled by Theodorou in his last performance. While the victories on Wescott's professional record are evenly split between knockouts and submissions, the Canadian used his jiu-jitsu prowess to tear though the TUF house.

So long as Wescott is in proper shape, he should have all the tools needed to put a beating on "Plastinho." He's the more powerful wrestler, more fluid striker, and the grappling is likely even.

In short, Wescott has plenty of options. While he could look for takedowns and work from the top -- generally the safest route to victory -- I'd like to see him work his stand up here. Wescott can hit fairly hard, and Pawlak is more than hittable.

In particular, Pawlak showed in his last fight he's not very good at defending low kicks. Sobotta landed each one that he threw, and it's not like the German is a kickboxing champion.

If Wescott uses low kicks frequently, he'll likely slow Pawlak down. Then, Pawlak will be a sitting duck, and Wescott can attempt to line up some power punches and give fans a reason to remember his name this time around.

Bottom Line: This could very well be a loser-leaves-town showdown, so expect both men to work hard for it.

Since both men are in a very similar position, the consequences of both victory and defeat are about the same. With a win, either fighter has ensured a future Octagon appearance. If that victory is particularly entertaining or dynamic, the winner will have a fair amount of job security in his next showing.

On the other hand. a loss will likely send the loser packing. The UFC seems to be thinning the herd a bit recently, and many fighters have not been given a third chance after losing their first two opportunities. Of the two, Westcott has the better chance of being kept around thanks to his TUF alumni status, but even that is a pretty long shot.

At UFC Fight Night 64, Pawel Pawlak and Sheldon Westcott will fight for their position inside the UFC. Which fighter will prevail?

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