by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
Denis Kang (22-7-1) vs Amar Suloev (21-5)
In one of the most anticipated fights of Bushido 11, Denis Kang only needed 15 seconds to dispatch of Murilo ‘Ninja’ Rua. Not only did Kang move onto the next round of the welterweight tournament, he arguably handed the Chute Boxe fighter the worst loss of his professional career.
Armenian kickboxer Amar Suloev defeated former UFC champion Murilo Bustamante, using his striking and good takedown defense to earn a decision. Bustamante dictated the fight by stalking Suloev around the ring but was unable to utilize his ground game after many failed takedown attempts. Suloev consistently scored points with his takedown defense and dropped Murilo in the second round with a right hook.
This is the most anticipated fight of the night for me. Here we have two very good strikers with knock out power. Amar has a strong kickboxing background and is known for his striking. Lately, his offense has consisted of mostly counter punches and lacks aggression.
Training with Olympic gold boxer Howard Davis Jr., Kang has improved his striking over the last few years. His punches are crisper and more accurate and the refined technique has improved his punching power.
Denis earned a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Marcus Soares, a well respected instructor and one of Carlson Gracie’s greatest students. Amar fought a dangerous submission artist when he faced Dean Lister. Lister had problems closing in on the Armenian striker and eventually lost a split decision. Unlike Lister, Kang is very capable of utilizing his striking to close the distance on his opponents. Suloev is versed in submissions but will be at a disadvantage if he ends up on his back.
Both fighters are on winning streaks but I feel that Kang has the stronger momentum. Stopping his last three opponents with strikes, Kang has evolved into a more complete fighter. The key to beating Suloev is to negate his strikes by taking him to the ground. That’s easier said then done because Suloev has good takedown defense. Bustamante had the skills to submit Amar but was physically unable to get him to the ground. Kang is equally as strong if not stronger than Suloev. Expect to see an exciting fight with some good exchanges. Kang will take advantage of his superior BJJ and bring the fight to the ground. Look for Kang to possibly weather an early storm and secure an armbar in the first round.
Prediction: Denis Kang submits Amar Suloev RD1