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.
We started this weekend off with a Tuesday Night Contender Series alum in Roosevelt Roberts. Now we continue it with yet another. While we lauded the length and submission skills of the first, this one brings a whole different game.
Nickname – Super
Affiliation – Team Lloyd Irvin
From – Nigeria
Height – 5’8″
Weight – 145 lbs (Featherweight)
Record – 7-1 (0-0 UFC)
What makes him impressive
While we liked our first pick of this weekend because of his ability to paw out a relatively unassuming jab, expect no such punch from Yusuff. Super Sodiq makes his money with the big shot, as is evident by two of his last three wins coming in the first round (including one against notable prospect Dylan Tuke at Brave CF 10).
The only recent win that didn’t end in a violent KO was his Contender Series fight with Mike Davis. While Davis was noted for his boxing prowess, Yusuff outworked him on the feet for three rounds. What is even more impressive than that is that he did so on a pretty significantly injured leg.
Why he has been overlooked
Although his performance on the Contender Series was plenty to get people hyped about his debut, he wound up being overshadowed by a loaded card. The five-fight card saw four of the winners take home UFC contracts. This included a violent KO from Jimmy Crute (also debuting on this card) and a dominant performance by Jeff Hughes that ended in a finish. All that and the main event (the only fight without a fighter to get signed) featured Nick Newell. So with so much buzz on other fighters, it is easy to see why people may have overlooked Yusuff.
What makes this a good match-up
Suman Mokhtarian was a cast-member on Season 27 of The Ultimate Fighter. As a second round pick, there were high hopes for him, especially when he was matched up with Team Cormier’s last pick Ricky Steele. However, in that fight Mokhtarian plodded forward fairly predictably and threw lots of powerful overhand shots.
With this being his style, Yusuff is simply too fast and too technical on the feet for Mokhtarian. Additionally, that predictable style will get him cracked a couple times, and it may only take one for the night to be over.
Prelim Breakout Star Record: 158-67-1 (2 NC) (6 DNF)