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UFC 108 Preview: Paul Daley vs. Dustin Hazelett

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Paul Daley burst on the scene at UFC 103 knocking out the well respected Martin Kampmann in the first round. He's a deadly striker and he's not afraid to tell you about it either. He comes into this fight on a 3 fight winning streak with a career record of (22-8) with 17 wins via the TKO/KO variety. However, he has been submitted 5 times in his career which just happens to be the strength of his opponent Dustin Hazelett.

Dustin Hazelett is coming off a very long layoff due to an injury. In fact, he hasn't fought since submitting Tamdan McCrory at UFC 91. Hazelett had won two in a row prior to the injury and comes into this fight with an overall record of (12-4) with 9 of those wins coming via submission. He's been stopped via TKO twice in his career. Hazelett is a submission specialist with an evolving striking game.

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Most people say this is a classic striker vs. grappler match and that's pretty much the case. That better be the case if Hazelett has any intentions of winning. Hazelett is very lengthy and will have a big height advantage, but that length will serve him well on the ground. While Daley is relatively short compared to Hazelett he has a very long reach for a guy standing 5'9", so that difference in height shouldn't come into play while the fight is standing. The last time we saw Daley submitted was against Jake Shields a little over a year ago. Daley was having his way with Shields until Shields finally got the fight to the ground in the second round and I think Daley has improved his take down defense since then as well. Shields is a much better wrestler than Hazelett and is also a bit larger. I'm not quite sure that Hazelett can get Daley to the ground unless he pulls guard. However, at that point do you want Paul Daley on top of you dropping them hammers? I don't think Daley respects Hazelett's striking ability, so he'll probably be willing to take some to give some. Which probably will not bode well for Hazelett. I think Daley takes this in the first round via TKO. However, the longer the fight goes the higher percentage that Hazelett can somehow get the fight to the ground and work his magic. What say you?