UFC 127: Sotiropoulos among Dana White’s Jiu-Jitsu favorites

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Sotiropoulos against Kurt Pellegrino / Photo: Josh Hedges

On an eight-fight winning streak, seven taking place in the UFC, Australia’s George Sotiropoulos is one of the most keenly-awaited fighters to perform at this Saturday’s UFC 127 show  in Sydney. A grappling wizard with eight submissions in 14 wins (two losses), Sotiropoulos, who will face also-finisher (nine) Dennis Siver, mixes up an assortment of different positions, from the omoplata to the traditional rear-naked choke.

The fight promises plenty of ground action and George will have to apply himself to appease his public. Among the Australian’s fans from Jiu-Jitsu is none other than UFC president Dana White, who heaped praise on the fighter in a recent conversation with GRACIEMAG>com. Sotiropoulos says he has just what it takes to meet expectations:

“I was doing Jiu-Jitsu one week, wrestling the next, boxing, then MMA, and back to Jiu-Jitsu. That mentality always kept me going and always gave me another goal to look forward to and something to always prepare for. I like having something to do, I like having something to strive for, and I feel a sense of achievement every time I set my mind to something and I’m working away at getting it done. It gives you something to look forward to everyday and this is what I love doing. I couldn’t accept myself doing anything else, and because of that, I’m motivated to do it every day. ” he said on the UFC website.

A lot of folks would like to see him with the belt now held by Frankie Edgar. The Australian would rather wait for his moment.

“I welcomed it (the Siver fight) and I think it’s a great fight,” he said. “He’s as dangerous as anybody that I’m fighting and I’m taking him very seriously. He’s got a lot of threats in his game and some notable wins on his resume,” he says.

“I haven’t got a title shot and that’s not what’s being offered to me right now. Dennis Siver is being offered, that’s what’s on my plate right now, and that’s what I’ve got to deal with. Basically, you have to work your way to a title shot and you have to beat everybody that’s in front of you, and if you don’t, then you don’t deserve it. That’s the bottom line. A title shot is about beating everybody, whether it’s a tournament or climbing the ladder. You have to be all about setting goals and achieving those goals, and right now the goal is beating Dennis Siver,” he says in closing.

Want to see the submission savant in action in the gi? Then watch his match against Naoya Uematsu with Ricardo de La Riva as referee.

Check out the complete card:

UFC 127
Sydney, Australia
February 27, 2011

Jon Fitch vs. B.J. Penn
Michael Bisping vs. Jorge Rivera
Dennis Siver vs. George Sotiropoulos
Chris Lytle vs. Brian Ebersole
Chris Camozzi vs. Kyle Noke
Spencer Fisher vs. Ross Pearson
Alexander Gustafsson vs. James Te Huna
Riki Fukuda vs. Nick Ring
Jason Reinhardt vs. Tiequan Zhang
Tom Blackledge vs. Anthony Perosh
Mark Hunt vs. Chris Tuchscherer
Maciej Jewtuszko vs. Curt Warburto

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