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.
Affiliation – MMA Lab
From – Winnemucca, Nevade
Height – 5’9″
Weight – 135 lbs (Bantamweight)
Record – 6-1 (0-1 UFC)
What makes him impressive
The ground game is really where Bautista makes his money. Although he is well-rounded and can strike with opponents more than a little bit, Bautista gets his finishes on the ground. In his UFC debut he was able to slam top-10 talent Cory Sandhagen with a vicious takedown. While he eventually fell victim to Sandhagen’s superb submission skills, Bautista is usually the one getting the subs himself. In his short pro career, half of his wins have come via submission, with more in his amateur career. All of these took place while facing the high level competition of regional promotions such as LFA and Tachi Palace.
Why he has been overlooked
In just one bout, there certainly isn’t a lot to make noise about. Now add the fact that he took that bout on just nine days notice and was up against an opponent like Sandhagen. Now again add that it was the first bout ever on ESPN and would be seen in millions of homes. There couldn’t be a much harder spot for Bautista’s debut, so expect him to step up and look like a whole different fighter in his sophomore effort.
What makes this a good match-up
Jin Soo Son is another fighter who got a raw deal in his debut. The newcomer got the very savvy and strong Petr Yan in his debut. Although he is likely ready to look a lot better than he did in that fight, he has a style that lends itself to being taken down. His punches can become very wild and he can get a bit overzealous throwing them – especially if he tags an opponent. This should play right into the hands of the talented grappler who just may need to hit one reactive takedown to make this a short night.
Prelim Breakout Star Record: 177-74-1 (2 NC) (6 DNF)
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