Going into UFC 127, George Sotiropoulos was poised as possibly being the No. 1 contender in the lightweight division, with a chance to solidify the spot by winning in his home country of Australia.
Dennis Siver had other ideas.
The German kickboxer put on a brilliant display of striking mixed with a rapidly improved takedown defense that Sotiropoulos simply didn’t have an answer for much of the fight.
In the end, Siver got the nod by unanimous decision notching probably the biggest win of his career, and putting Sotiropoulos’ title hopes on hold.
Sotiropoulos made no excuses for what happened, and gave credit to his opponent for fighting a smart strategy with precise execution.
“Look, Dennis is a kickboxer. That’s how he fights; that’s his style. I was wanting to go down to the ground, which is probably worse for him and best for me. But his takedown defense was pretty good,” Sotiropoulos commented. “He was maintaining good distance. He was able to stick to his plan. It wasn’t my night tonight.”
In a division where it truly is dog eat dog, one loss can be quite a set back. Add to that a growing list of contenders with names like Anthony Pettis, Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller all chomping at the bit to get in line for the title, Sotiropoulos will have to find a way to climb that ladder again.
The Australian while obviously disappointed with how things turned out, will pick himself up, dust off, and get back on track to hopefully ride towards title contention again.
“When things go wrong for people, it’s easy to get back up on the horse. When things don’t go your way, you just gotta do the same thing,” said Sotiropoulos. “It’s the same for me. For me it’ll be business as usual. I’ll get back to work, I’ll (review) the footage and where I went wrong and make some adjustments.”
There are still plenty of challenges for Sotiropoulos in the lightweight division, and any number of match-ups could be awaiting him when he returns. In a very competitive division, one loss does knock a fighter back, but with so many high level fighters, a couple of wins can put him right back in the title hunt as well.