UFC featherweights Jonathan Brookins vs. Erik Koch will clash on the Spike TV broadcast of Ultimate Fight Night 25: Shields vs. Ellenberger tomorrow night.
Brookins (12-3, 1-0 UFC) is a 26-year-old winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 12 tournament, but he hasn't fought since winning the finals in December. He's had to put off multiple fight bookings this year due to a variety of injuries. Brookins' cage rust could be a huge factor in the fight. He's primarily a grappler who combines good wrestling with strong submissions.
Brookins took UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo to the 3rd round back in 2008 before getting TKO'd.
Koch (12-1, 1-0 UFC) is a 22-year-old who trains under kickboxing legend Duke Roufus in Wisconsin. Despite his youth, he's an MMA veteran with a combined 4-1 record in the WEC and UFC. The only flaw on his record came in a decision loss to Chad Mendes in March 2010. Since then he's reeled off two straight Knockout of the Night performances against Raphael Assuncao at UFC 128 and Francisco Rivera at WEC 52.
It's tempting to think of this fight as a striker-vs-grappler bout, but Koch's 7 career submission wins put the lie to that notion. Brookins may be the superior ground fighter, but Koch is no slouch. Ultimately it's going to come down to Brookins' wrestling and ability to put Koch on his back and control him on the ground.
|Submissions||Highly Effective||1||Very Good||Brookins|
|Overall||Ultimate Fighter||5/4||Big Future||Brookins