Soa Palelei booked for UFC New Zealand

Soa Palelei, the powerful wrestler and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt has been booked for his next fight as the UFC debuts in New Zealand. Perth MMA fighter Soa Palelei isn’t resting on his laurels following his win over Ruan Potts at UFC Fight Night: Brown v Silva on Sunday.
Nanjing Night Net

The UFC heavyweight is on an 11-fight win-streak, with his last three wins all occuring by knockout at the highest level of competition, the UFC.

Just three days after his last knockout, the powerful wrestler and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt has been booked for his next fight as the UFC debuts in New Zealand, taking on highly-rated wrestler Jared Rosholt.

Palelei’s wrestling has been on display in his return to the UFC, with 90 per cent takedown accuracy and three consecutive knockouts from the mount.

However he will have a much harder time taking Rosholt down, with the former Oklahoma State University wrestler finishing fourth, third and second in three years in his National Collegiate Athletics Association wrestling division, the highest level of amateur wrestling.

The UFC is full of former NCAA stars, including current heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and welterweight champion Johny Hendricks, both who use their wrestling as an offensive and defensive weapon.

Rosholt (10-1) has had two consecutive decision victories in the UFC while Palelei (21-3) has never let any of his fights go to the judges’ scorecard.

The main event will see kiwi fighter James Te Huna drop to middleweight to take on former middleweight top contender Nate Marquardt, with fellow Australians Rob Whittaker, Richie Vaculik, Vic Grujic and Perth’s own Chris Indich also on the card.

Indich must win against Grujic to hang on to his UFC dream following a disappointing first-up loss to Richard Walsh.

UFC Fight Night: Te Huna v Marquardt will take place at Vector Arena in Auckland on June 28. Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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