Much of the talk in the build-up to Sotiropoulos Vs Dennis Siver at UC 127 was about the Australian’s ground game, but Siver forced him to strike instead, and that allowed him to produce the second upset of the evening.
Sotiropoulos tried a number of times to take the fight to the mat in the opening round, but the German was having none of it and shrugged off the attempts repeatedly.
That led to Sotiropoulos having to take on the dangerous kickboxer Siver on the feet, and it became apparent that was not going to be an easy task as he began to come off second best in the exchanges.
The Australian then made an error by trading toe-to-toe with Siver and paid the price when a left hook connected and dropped him. He managed to get back to his feet only to find himself quickly back in a similar situation and again being clipped.
He still has the resolve to get back up once more but he had clearly been hurt and was lucky to survive to the end of the round.
What was impressive however was that Sotiropoulos was able to recover in-between rounds and make some adjustments in the next round, adding some feints and leg kicks to his work which allowed him to get back into the stand-up battle, though he was still unable to break down Siver’s takedown defense in order to get the fight to the mat.
While not as effective as the first, Siver was still giving as much as he was taking though, and so there was all to play for in the third.
Again it ended up being essentially a kickboxing match in the final round, and was extremely close, with both men having some success, but Siver perhaps landing the more eye-catching blows, in particular two of his trademark spinning back kicks.
So it was down to the judges, and they awarded the fight unanimously in Siver’s favor (29-28, 30-28, 30-27).
It was a well earned win for Siver who really impressed with his excellent takedown defense, and strong first round showing.
As for Sotiropoulos, this brings an end to a seven fight winning streak in the UFC, and puts an end to his hopes of a title shot for now.