Kyoji Horiguchi’s 11-1 record or five-fight winning streak are good reasons to view him as the favorite in comparison to Pague’s trio of consecutive stumbles but don’t count the TUF 14 alumnus out. He’s shown great heart and toughness in past tilts and is a pure finisher with stoppages in all eleven of his victories. Factor in the travel time involved for the Japanese Horiguchi, as well as it being his UFC debut and fighters from the Land of the Rising Sun not faring too well in the Octagon, and Pague’s success is almost a foregone conclusion.
The beauty of MMA is in part the difficult in consistently predicting outcomes. All it takes to win a fight is a split second lapse in judgment or a perfectly-timed strike. If you need evidence in the “anything can happen” nature of the sport, look no further than this weekend’s lineup for UFC 166 where there are definitely a few underdogs who could end up exiting their efforts with a hand raised including one who might boast UFC gold when the smoke clears. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
Front-Page Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports