In the UFC 161 prelim fights, Kenny Roberston is all set to go up against Sean “The Punisher” Pierson. Both of these fighters come from similar wrestling backgrounds with comparable records, and sport analogous fighting styles. The southpaw Pierson has advantages in both height and fight experience, but Robertson is eight years younger and in the prime of his life. At 37, the Punisher has been punished by serious knee and shoulder injuries, and that could be a serious factor in the outcome of this fight. Both of these men are great grapplers; Pierson is a brown belt in BJJ who has wrestled since fourth grade, while Robertson is known for unorthodox submissions. One such submission is the knee bar from back control he used against Brock Jardine in his last fight at UFC 157.
Pierson is coming in with 13 wins, six by knockout and four by submission, with his last two fights being won by decision. Robertson on the other hand has 12 wins with six of them knockouts and five via submission. In his last six fights, the Punisher has landed 40% of his strikes and 20% of his takedowns while defending 68% of attacks against him and stopping 60% of his opponents’ takedown attempts. Robertson has landed 50% of his strikes in his last four fights, and one out of seven attempted takedowns. He has only managed to avoid 38% of his opponents’ strikes and has avoided over half of their takedown attempts. The one major difference in their striking styles is that Pierson likes to punish his opponents with great boxing, courtesy of his training at Grant Brothers MMA, while Robertson prefers to fight from the clinch.
Roberston was 10-0 before his UFC debut, and is known for defeating The Ultimate Fighter alum John Kolosci with a keylock at Bellator XXV. The Punisher made a name for himself in his UFC fight debut by winning a decision against the well-respected Matthew Riddle. He also is involved with training and teaching in an anti-bullying program based in Toronto with several other well-known UFC fighters such as Sam Stout, Mark Hominick, and Matt Mitrione. With such similar backgrounds, it is difficult to see which of these fighters will end up winning this preliminary prizefight.
This fight will most likely last all three rounds and go to a decision, based off how similar these fighters’ statistics match up. Although he is eight years the senior in this scrap, I believe that the Punisher is going to take home the win at UFC 161: “Evans vs. Henderson”. With age comes knowledge, and it’s not as if Robertson is the first young gun that Pierson has had to go toe to toe with. Pierson is more aggressive and has better defense, and not to mention a BJJ brown belt. He knows what to expect from Robertson, and that famous knee bar is a trick that will only work if your opponent has never seen it before. I think that Robertson will definitely feel the pressure from being in Pierson’s home court, and with all of Canada cheering him on, the Punisher isn’t about to let his family and fellow fighters down.