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The Featherweight division plays host to an intriguing fight, as Sean Soriano takes on Shayilan ‘Wolverine’ Nuerdanbieke. Both fighters come into this fight seeking their first UFC victory. For Sean Soriano, this will be his fifth attempt. After being cut from the UFC in 2015 due to a three fight losing streak, Soriano fought his way back on the regional scene, ultimately earning a second stint in 2021. However, Soriano would drop his UFC return fight to Christos Giagos, making this fight seemingly a must win. Meanwhile, Nuerdanbieke lost in his UFC debut to Joshua Culibao. A fight where Nuerdanbieke could never establish his wrestling, landing only two of his fourteen takedown attempts.
In regards to how this fight plays out, it seems very simple. Sean Soriano is a striker, who has struggled against wrestlers and grapplers. Should he succeed in keeping this fight upright, he will win. However, if Shayilan Nuerdanbieke, who is a wrestler, manages to bully Soriano down to the mat, he will win. Given Soriano has been taken down three or more times in each of his four fights, as well as fifteen total times, a path to victory is certainly there for Nuerdanbieke. The only problem is, Nuerdanbieke will have to fare better in the wrestling department than his UFC debut, which saw him land only two of his fourteen takedown attempts.
As for a prediction, I’m going with Soriano. While the American has struggled with fighters that wrestle or grapple, Nuerdanbieke isn’t at the caliber of his past opponents. Upon further review of Nuerdanbieke’s resume, before debuting in the UFC, in twenty-five fights, he fought no one notable. While I could see Nuerdanbieke succeed early in grinding Soriano, as the fight wanes and the striking battles ensue, Soriano will walk away with the victory. Let’s say via late TKO.