The Prelim Breakout Star is a once per event article that helps fans get to know those who will be entertaining them from the undercard. The intention of the article is not to bring attention to the most talented fighter on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.

 

On a card with a ton of flyweights, I feel as if I’m almost betraying my favorite child by not highlighting one here. However, how can we pass up a look at a fighter with only seven fights from an area with few UFC fighters.

 

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Sasha Palatnikov

Affiliation – Syndicate MMA
From – Hong Kong
Height – 6’1″
Weight – 185 lbs (Middleweight)
Record – 5-2 (0-0 UFC)

 

What makes him impressive

Palatnikov has that style that seems to be rearing it’s beautiful head more and more often in the higher weight classes. He looks like a kickboxer in the way that he is light on his feet and doesn’t telegraph any of his kicks. They fire off without warning and chop down his opponents.

What helps him stand out from that crowd, though, is that he pairs that with some pretty solid clinch wrestling. His upper body attacks, particularly with body locks, are not what you’d expect from a guy with a striking game like his.

 

Why he has been overlooked

With just seven fights this is really an easy question to answer. It becomes even easier when you consider that we know so few MMA fighters from Hong Kong. It’s easier still when you see he is just 1-1 in his last two. However, it’s worth noting, that loss is to Mounir Lazzez, who burst on to the UFC scene recently. So, if we put that loss aside, the real reason we don’t know about him is exposure, which I think he’s about to get plenty of.

 

What makes this a good match-up

The Cosce brothers have that grinding style of wrestling mixed with the occasional burst of explosiveness. The problem with this explosiveness on the feet is that he will have to get close enough to Palatnikov to use it. Palatnikov will be sporting a four-inch height advantage and likely even more in the reach department. With his body lock and clinch game already fairly strong, Cosce will have to make sure to make good on any time he does get in close because he may not get there again.

 

Prelim Breakout Star Record: 208-93-1 (2 NC) (10 DNF)

 

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