The German went into UFC 127 and put the Australian down as Dennis Siver got the best of rising star George Sotiropoulos, winning by unanimous decision.
The match-up looked like a classic striker vs. grappler and it played out very much that way throughout the fight. Sotiropoulos looked early and often for takedowns, and he found out very quickly that Siver wasn’t going to be an easy mark to get down.
Once he tested his takedown defense, Siver opened up on the feet with the Australian and twice in the first round he cracked Sotiropoulos with big punches, dropping him to the mat. Siver could have possibly finished the fight at that point, but he was being cautious not to play the cat and mouse game with Sotiropoulos on the ground.
Sotiropoulos made in through a very tough first round, and came back looking much stronger in the 2nd round, firing off stiff jabs and slowing Siver’s pace down. Still, he simply could not get the German to the mat where he would have his biggest advantage. Siver admitted after the fight that he drilled his takedown defense to the point of exhaustion, and it paid off.
“We trained so hard for that because we know George will try to put us down to the ground, ” Siver said. “That’s why we trained it so much everyday. I would say it works.”
Siver may have suffered a setback in the 2nd round, but he recovered in the third and final round. The German again fired off several power shots and got his second wind, knowing that he had to close strong.
Once Siver touched Sotiropoulos’ chin a few times, he backed the Australian off and ended up with the better strikes throughout all 15 minutes. Siver said it came all down to strategy and his worked out pretty well.
“It was a hard, hard fight, but I could do my game plan, this is why I win,” Siver stated.
The loss knocks Sotiropoulos back from where he sat as a potential No. 1 contender in the lightweight division, and now he’ll have to bounce back when he returns for his next fight. He gave credit to his opponent for a very smart and tough bout.
“He was very strong, he threw some heavy shots, they both landed hard and I felt them,” Sotiropoulos said. “It was very hard to take him down, and he was throwing hard. He landed a few times.”
The lightweight division now opens up a bit for fighters like Anthony Pettis, Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller with Sotiropoulos taking a loss. Siver meanwhile picks up by far his biggest win in the Octagon.