An exciting lightweight showdown between former welterweight Roger Bowling (11-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Blackzillian fighter Abel Trujillo (10-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was booked for the Facebook preliminary card at UFC Fight Night 27 in Indianapolis this Wednesday.
Prior to fighting under the Stikeforce banner as a welterweight, Roger Bowling had built quite a beat of steam after a 28 second knockout of Shamar Bailey as part of an 8 fight win-streak. The buzz of Bowling quickly faded after going 4-3 inside the promotion, though he has since found himself in the UFC roster as one of the now-defunct Strikeforce’s carry overs. His UFC debut, which was also his lightweight debut, had him against Janjira Muay Thai fighter Anthony Njokuani in which he lost via knockout – a loss he will have to rebound back from if he wishes to remain a UFC fighter.
His opponent is Blackzillian fighter Abel Truijillo who found himself signing a UFC contract in 2012 after riding a four fight win streak. Trujillo debuted in the UFC against Marcus LeVesseur, a replacement for Tim Means 5 days prior to the fight, in December of 2012 where he won the fight landing fight ending knees to the body of his opponent. He then faced rising star and world combat Sambo champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in which he lost a very decisive unanimous decision putting him and Bowling in a similar ‘do or die’ situation.
Although Trujillo was able to stuff 8 of 10 of collegiate wrestler LeVesseur’s take down attempts while landing punishing elbows and body shots during those failed attempts, against by Nurmagomedov he was taken down a whopping 21 times. Trujillo simply did not try to adjust to defend Nurmagomedov’s takedown attempts resulting in him being smothered and frustrated, often complaining to the referee, which is something that Bowling may be able to use his athleticism and take downs to exploit.
Bowling comes aggressive right out of the gate and, like in his fight with Njokuani, is known to charge forward swinging wild punches and kicks. But as in the Njokuani fight, this leaves him susceptible to counter punches if his opponent is able to time their strikes accordingly, something we saw Trujillo was capable of in his UFC debut, dropping his opponent twice with counters before finishing him.
Prediction: Abel Trujillo def. Roger Bowling via second round TKO
While Trujillo appeared to be susceptible to the take down in his most recent fight against Nurmagomedov, the Russian fighter is a world combat sambo – he has ways of getting fighters to the ground that Roger Bowling certainly does not. Trujillo was not only able to stuff LeVesseur’s take downs, a man who went 155-0 in his college wrestling career, he was able to very effectively punish his opponent every time he shot in for the take down. Bowling will look to smother Trujillo, mixing it up with wild strikes and try to use his athleticism to land take downs, but Trujillo’s training camp with the Blackzillians will have him ready to time and counter his opponent’s strikes while also punish him when he drives in for a take down.