Two powerful bantamweights are set to face off at UFC 159, because Erik Perez and Johnny Bedford have signed on the dotted line to face each other. UFC 159 takes place in Newark, N.J. on April 27, and is headlined by a light-heavyweight title fight between champion Jon Jones and former number one middleweight contender Chael Sonnen. Perez and Bedford are some fresh blood that the bantamweight division desperately needs.
People claim that fighters who train with Greg Jackson’s Camp become boring, but it is impossible to count Perez among them. Even though he only debuted in June of last year, he won three fights before the year was out. In his first fight in the Octagon, he submitted John Albert before the first round was over. Perez went on to knock out Ken Stone in 17 seconds, and then finished off Byron Bloodworth in under four minutes at UFC 155.
Bedford is an alum of the Ultimate Fighter, and even though he did not win his season, he has been impressive so far in his UFC career. He took out Louis Gaudinot with knees to the body at the TUF finale in December of 2011, but injuries kept him out of the Octagon until December of 2012, when he finished Marcos Vinicius with a kick to the body. With those types of finishes it is very unlikely that this fight will go to the judges.
You can most likely count out the ground game in this fight, because Bedford’s weakness lies in his ground game. Eight of his nine losses have come by way of submission, but with his Division 1 wrestling credentials, he will most likely dictate where the fight goes.