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UFC 102 Preview: Brandon Vera vs. Krzysztof Soszynski

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Now is the time for Brandon "The Truth" Vera to make his move. The 31 year old light heavyweight has long drawn rave reviews for his world class talent and potential. After a decision loss to Keith Jardine last year, Vera got right back to his winning ways by defeating the overmatched Michael Patt. Vera looked good in that March victory, firing off nice combinations, showing good movement and ultimately finishing his opponent with leg kicks in the second round. Look for this Virginia native to use a variety of kicks to control the distance and some nice knees in the clinch. Vera is aware of just how great this opportunity is, fighting on the televised portion of Saturday's pay-per-view event. Vera has stated in recent interviews that he wants to hold both the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles before he retires. This weekend is as good an opportunity as any to begin that journey. Vera has a professional record of 10-3 with 7 wins coming by way of knockout and 1 win coming by way of submission. The combined career winning percentage of the opponents that he has faced is 70.5%.

Krzysztof Soszynski was one of the pleasant surprises that emerged from season eight of The Ultimate Fighter. Coming down from heavyweight, Krzysztof was one of the most experienced fighters on the show. Although he didn't win the competition, he has looked great since the show's filming. He has won all three of his UFC fights, defeating Shane Primm (submission), Brian Stann (submission) and Andre Gusmao (submission) in relatively quick fashion. Soszynski's strength is his submission game and he will definitely look to display some of those skills in Portland. Soszynski has a professional record of 18-8-1 with 6 wins coming by way of knockout and 9 wins coming by way of submission. The combined career winning percentage of the opponents that he has faced is 65.3%.

This is an interesting matchup of styles as Soszynki is going to be looking to work for a submission and Vera is likely going to try to keep the fight standing and establish his striking. I think that Vera's grappling is underrated and will likely come into play in this matchup. I see him doing some nice work with the leg kicks early on and executing some nice knees and dirty boxing from the clinch. My prediction: Vera by TKO in the 2nd.