C.B. Dollaway halted a two-fight losing streak in May. | D. Herbertson
C.B. Dollaway (12-4, 6-4 UFC) vs. Daniel Sarafian (7-2, 0-0 UFC)
The Matchup: It is difficult to tell whether Dollaway’s UFC 146 victory over Jason Miller had more to do with his performance or with the struggles of an underwhelming “Mayhem,” who faltered badly in two recent Octagon appearances before being released by the company. What is clear is that after a lengthy layoff due to hip surgery, Dollaway will take the dominant victory, regardless of Miller’s state.
Next up for the Power MMA Team product is Sarafian, who is making his Octagon debut after a stint on “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil.” Sarafian was knocked out of the reality show’s finale by an arm injury, and he has not had an official professional bout since June 2011. The 30-year-old Sao Paulo native has shown a dangerous submission game thus far in his career, earning six of his seven victories via tapout.
Sarafian will want to control distance with his jab and leg kicks, but if he can initiate the takedown, he will have a good chance at earning a finish. The Brazilian is adept at advancing position and has slick transitions on the mat. Meanwhile, Dollaway is a competent grappler with dangerous chokes, but he tends to leave himself exposed while pursuing submissions of his own.
An NCAA All-American wrestler at Arizona State University, Dollaway’s standup has remained limited as his UFC tenure has progressed. “The Doberman” can be rocked on the feet, as evidenced by recent knockout losses to Mark Munoz and Jared Hamman. Sarafian, with a more diverse striking arsenal that includes various kicks and flying knees, should have the advantage in exchanges.
Dollaway will not waste much time trading with Sarafian. The American will attempt to close the distance as soon as he can in order to implement the same game plan -- takedowns and ground-and-pound -- he employed with great success against Miller. It will be paramount for Sarafian to sweep or reverse if he finds himself beneath his foe.
The Pick: Dollaway has been inconsistent since emerging from Season 7 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” and he will struggle to impose his will on Sarafian, who wins via decision or late submission.
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