The past couple of weeks have been relatively slow with MMA action; but that was just so you could catch your breath for what is about to take place over the next couple of months. In about three weeks Sengoku 11 takes place at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan. The event will air live here in the U.S. on HDNet.
There are a number of great fights on the card including Dave “Pee Wee” Herman vs. “Big” Jim York, Hatsu Hioki vs. Michihiro Omigawa, and more. However, the fight we are focusing on in this spotlight is the middleweight match-up between Jorge Santiago (21-7, #6 MW) vs. Mamed Khalidov (19-3-1).
Jorge Santiago is a top ten ranked middleweight and a veteran of such promotions as the UFC, Bodog, King of the Cage, Strikeforce, and Sengoku. Having won eight of his fights by (T)KO and 12 by submission, he is very well-rounded.
Santiago has faced many of the sport’s top competitors. A fighter does not break into the top ten because they are lucky. Santiago is currently on a nine-fight win streak and has not lost a fight in three years.
His last loss was against Alan Belcher at “UFC Fight Night 7″ in Dec. 2006. For the first few years of Santiago’s pro MMA career his consistency was hit or miss; he would win a couple then lose one, win two or three more, then lose another.
However, he has really found his stride now and is part of a great camp at American Top Team. Santiago’s most recent fight ended with a fifth round rear-naked choke submission over aggressive Japanese middleweight Kazuo Misaki at “Sengoku: No Ran 2009″ back in January.
After an 11-month hiatus, Santiago will be climbing back into the ring on Nov. 7 against Polish powerhouse Mamed Khalidov.
Khalidov is on a nice little win streak of his own – a whopping 16-fight win streak to be exact (with one draw thrown in there just for fun).
The match-up between Santiago and Khalidov is intriguing. Both fighters have excellent ground games, but can also strike and finish fights standing. Santiago has a few more losses on his record but the level of competition he has faced has been higher.
Khalidov made his U.S. debut in 2008 when he knocked out Jason Guida, the brother of UFC lightweight fighter Clay Guida, in the second round at Elite XC’s Elite Challenger Series on Showtime.
Khalidov returned to action in May of this year against PRIDE veteran Daniel Acacio (19-8) at KSW 11 in Warsaw, Poland. It took Khalidov just over a minute to knock out the Brazilian.
There are some incredible match-ups planned for the Sengoku 11 fight card, but this fight between Jorge Santiago and Mamed Khalidov has all the makings of a “fight of the night” and possibly “fight of the year.”
There is something Santiago and every future opponent should consider when facing Mamed Khalidov. The man has had 23 fights in his professional MMA career, and only two of his opponents have ever been able to get out of the second round. One of those fights ended in a draw and the other fighter was submitted.
Nov. 7. Japan. Sengoku 11. Live on HDNet. Be there!