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.
The name Azaitar has been mired a bit in controversy as of late, with Ottman having been the recipient of one of the oddest firing/re-hirings in history. However, it’s his brother who fights this weekend as part of a turbulent card.
Nickname – Gladiator
Affiliation – Combat Club Cologne
From – Cologne, Germany
Height – 5’11”
Weight – 185 lbs (Middleweight)
Record – 14-2-1 (1-0 UFC)
What makes him impressive
Similar to his brother, Abu Azaitar’s best weapon is his kickboxing. Although a touch slower than his brother, the speed of which Azaitar lands, particularly to the legs, is his best weapon. That speed gets matched with the output, which is constantly racking up the strikes. In his debut against Vitor Miranda, Azaitar threw well over 200 strikes. While some of these were not considered significant strikes, the work rate alone certainly helps should the fight go to the judges.
Why he has been overlooked
In a sense, Azaitar may not be overlooked thanks due to a number of controversies. Though if you haven’t heard of him, it’s likely due to the fact that he’s been on the shelf for almost three years, thanks largely due to a USADA suspension. While this means he’s only got to fight in the UFC one time, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a wealth of high level experience. Before joining the UFC, he fought some high quality opponents including UFC veteran Jack Marshman. In all of those bouts, his skills held up, so I think we can safely say he can handle the level of competition.
What makes this a good match-up
Marc-Andre Barriault looked much improved in his last fight. This is largely due to the fact that he was moving forward with a sense of urgency (probably because he was 0-3 and on the verge of losing his job). This forward pressure ultimately lead him to controlling the cage the entire fight and scored him a knockout win. The problem is that Abu Azaitar isn’t the type of fighter you can play that game with. He loves to counter his opponent’s forward movement with big winging hooks and I’m not sure Barriault is going to be able to counter the speed of which those hooks arrive.
Prelim Breakout Star Record: 215-98-1 (2 NC) (13 DNF)
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