"All I've got to say is, 'Who's next?"" Sotiropoulos said afterward.
Next should be a Top 10 lightweight, as Sotiropoulos showed that he's good enough to take on some of the best in his weight class.
Sotiropoulos's striking looked good in the early going, as he landed a hard punch that knocked Pellegrino down and then continuing to hit Pellegrino with left hooks when the fight got back up to the feet. Late in the first round Pellegrino secured a takedown and put Sotiropoulos on his back, but Sotiropoulos was tenacious on his back and landed several elbows from the bottom.
Early in the second round it was Sotiropoulos who took Pellegrino down, and he showed off a great combination of technical jiu jitsu in passing Pellegrino's guard as well as relentless striking from the top. When they got back to their feet Pellegrino did hurt Sotiropoulos with a knee, but for the most part it was Sotiropoulos's round. After the second round, UFC lightweight Kenny Florian, in Pellegrino's corner, was telling Pellegrino that he had lost both rounds and needed to finish the fight in the third if he wanted to win.
Pellegrino actually came close to finishing Sotiropoulos in the third -- but only at the very end of the fight. With just seconds left in the third round, Pellegrino landed a knee to Sotiropoulos's chin, followed by a right hook that knocked Sotiropoulos to the ground, and if there had been more time in the fight Pellegrino might have managed to knock Sotiropoulos out. But the bell rang and Sotiropoulos survived to win the fight 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 on the three judges' scorecards.
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