Soa Palelei was not only looking to score a big win last night at UFN 33 because he was fighting in his native Australia, but because his sluggish, stoppage win over Nikita Krylov at UFC 164 was widely panned. Of course, if you watched last night’s card then you know “The Hulk” accomplished his mission, and then some, as he took Pat Barry to the ground and violently put him away.
After the fight the 36 year-old vet was asked if he felt vindicated by his performance, considering how things unfolded in Palelei’s UFC debut back in August. The massive heavyweight stated:
“That first fight against Nikita I hurt my rib the week before and popped it in the first round, and I couldn’t breathe, and it was just hard,” Palelei noted at the post fight presser. “So, I went out today, and I respect Pat as an athlete and as a sportsman, he’s a really dangerous fighter, so I was really worried about his kicks, but I played my game, and hopefully I made a statement today.”
There’s no question that his performance last night should help erase any doubts about Palelei’s abilities, even if he did relay after his fight with Krylov that he was injured. And as far as the strategy Palelei utilized to take out a powerful striker like Barry?
“I’ve been doing it the last 16 years plus, I’m a first degree, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, I’ve been doing it for a long, long time, and I’m really confident. If I get on top of you you’re not getting me off.”
With the win, Palelei has now won 10 straight fights since he was defeated by heavyweight, turned light-heavyweight, Mr. Daniel Cormier.