Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight scrappers Ben Saunders and Peter Sobotta dueled yesterday (May 28, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 109 inside Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden.
For complete UFC “Stockholm” results and play-by-play click here.
Saunders is one of the division’s longest veterans, currently in the midst of his third UFC stint. Against a fellow experienced foe, Saunders was hoping to extend his win steak to two and prove his place at 170 lbs.
Meanwhile, Sobotta has fought inconsistently since rejoining the UFC but has overall looked much better than his first run a few years back. Sobotta was still trying to climb the ranks, making it imperative for him to come out on top here.
He accomplished that goal and looked damn good in the process.
Sobotta opened the bout by immediately rocking Saunders with a big punch, although “Killa B” recovered quickly. The two exchanged from the outside, with Saunders stalking and trying to set up his kicks, whereas Sobotta looked to bounced inside with quick punches.
Both men found success with their strategies, landing hard strikes. However, with about a minute remaining, Sobotta connected on a clean left hand that shot Saunders across the ring, badly hurt. Sobotta took top position and attempted to swarm for the finish, but Saunders was able to defend himself and survive until the end of the round.
It was a strong start for the German.
Saunders face wore the damage of the first round, but he stalked his foe regardless. About a minute in, things continued to get worse for Saunders, as another left hand sent him wobbling across the cage. His feet were seriously unstable, but Saunders somehow managed to remain standing.
Unfortunately, it didn’t last long.
Sobotta pursued the finish with a lot of patience. Saunders was still stumbling maybe half a minute after initially being rocked, which is when Sobotta found a home for his overhand. Saunders knees buckled, and a follow up knee directly to the chin brought the official end.
This was really a stellar performance from the German. Sobotta rocked his opponent a half dozen times in a fairly short fight, really showcasing his improved punching power. That was a factor in his most recent win as well, but this is the first clean knockout win of Sobotta’s UFC career.
Sobotta’s technical kickboxing looked very strong in this match as well. He moved well, avoided or countered a great deal of kicks, and showed off a sharp jab. With both men working from the same stance (Southpaw), that jab was very important, and it allowed him to set up the hard left repeatedly.
Having won four of his five fights in his current UFC stint, it’s about time for Sobotta to receive a real step up in competition. He may not be ready for a ranked opponent just yet, but someone on the level of Alan Jouban would be a reasonable move.
As for Saunders, this is far from ideal. His combinations generally looked pretty good, and his kicks were hard, but there was a clear speed advantage in his opponent’s corner. That’s a hard edge to overcome on the feet, and Saunders is not usually one to initiate the wrestling game.
Maybe it would have helped.
As it stands, it’s hard to give much critique. From the very beginning of the fight, Sobotta seemed to have his opponent’s timing and range, and Saunders was never able to catch up.
At UFC Fight Night 109, Peter Sobotta showcased his improved kickboxing with a big knockout. What is next for Sobotta?
For complete UFC Fight Night 109 “Gustafsson vs Teixeira” results and play-by-play, click HERE!