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We have a showdown in the Middleweight division, as Punahele Soriano takes on Dalcha Lungiambula. Since starting out his career 8-0, with three of those wins coming inside the octagon, Soriano has stumbled of late. Dropping back-to-back fights, the Hawaiian finds himself in his first rut. Still only 29 years old and very skilled, Soriano luckily has time on his side to turn things around. Meanwhile, Lungiambula comes into this fight a loser of two straight and three of the last four. A former EFC Heavyweight Champion, Lungiambula has bounced around from Light Heavyweight to Middleweight in the UFC. Only 1-2 at 185 pounds, the physically imposing Lungiambula is finding out that regardless of size, the competition in the UFC is stiff.

With both guys needing a win, this should be an interesting fight. A former collegiate wrestler, Soriano has developed himself into a heavy handed slugger. With five of his eight wins coming via knockout, Soriano has proven that he is a legitimate threat on the feet. Coming off a fight against Nick Maximov, in which he was taken down eleven times, there is concern in his takedown defense. Then again, prior to that fight, Soriano had never been taken down. Perhaps looking at that Maximov fight though as a blueprint, is Lungiambula. A physical specimen with a Judo background, Lungiambula has power in his hands and some solid offensive wrestling. While he has been submitted twice, Lungiambula can be tough to deal with when he has top pressure. The knock on the Congo native, has been his cardio. Needing a lot of energy to feed his muscular build, Lungiambula has slowed at times in the later rounds.

In what could be a frantic fight, I’m going with Soriano. Despite what happened in his recent fight against Maximov, even if Lungiambula lands a few takedowns, Soriano has proven that he isn’t one to stay grounded. With a clear edge on the feet, in terms of technique and output, I believe Soriano will eventually land something impactful. Perhaps later in the fight, when Lungiambula fades. With that said, I predict that Soriano wins via TKO.

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