Some readers may remember the briefly announced fight between Justin Scoggins and Dustin Ortiz that was supposed to take place at the UFC’s recent event in Indianapolis. That fight was scrapped due to injury, and Ortiz quickly picked up another fight against Jose Maria. Now a debut date has been set for Scoggins for Dec. 7th in Brisbane, where he’ll take on another UFC newcomer in former TUF Smashes competitor Richie Vaculik.
Vaculik competed at lightweight on TUF (just to show how far he’ll be dropping for his UFC debut) where he lost to eventual show winner Norman Parke in the tournament’s opening round. Outside of his initial brush with the UFC, Vaculik is 10-1 competing largely at bantamweight. He has a pair of decent wins over Legend FC vet Michael Mortimer and a strong TKO victory in a recent outing over Sengoku/KOTC vet Matt Jaggers. He’s largely a submission fighter with six of his nine wins coming by tap out and his only loss coming via decision to the well regarded Gustavo Falciroli. He’s not terribly young at 30 and, despite only having ten fights to his name, has been competing for about seven years now. It will be interesting to see how much a finished product he presents himself as in the UFC.
His opponent, in Justin Scoggins, is very much the opposite. A Kempo Karate black belt with a background in kickboxing, Scoggins reminds me a lot of Stephen Thompson. He tends toward a side on kick heavy approach, but has sharp boxing and decent footwork. At 7-0 he has yet to face any really strong competition, so it remains to be seen somewhat how his skills will translate against better opponents. Five of his seven wins come by knockout/TKO with a submission and decision for good measure. At only 21 years of age he is a bright prospect in a division that is still low on fighters and as a striking purist he will be relatively alone in the division.
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