After what I can only imagine was a rehabilitation from quite an assortment of injuries, Terry Etim is making his return to the UFC to take on Edward Faaloloto at UFC 138. The last time Etim fought was a submission loss to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 112, the show in Abu Dhabi in April 2010. If “cage rust” exists, then Etim will have to deal with it on Saturday for sure.
The thing is: even if Etim does suffer from “cage rust,” it’s hard to see him losing anyway. Part of the challenge of writing fight previews is being able to say negative things about a fighter without being disrespectful, or too disparaging. But I’ll be honest… I have no idea why Edward Faaloloto is here. I said it before his last fight, against Michael Johnson, and Faaloloto was knocked out in the first round. To be fair, Faaloloto was putting up a decent fight before he lost by KO, but it wasn’t the most inspiring performance I’ve ever seen, especially considering that Michael Johnson is, at best, a low-level UFC lightweight.
It could be that Faaloloto has some hidden talent that only the UFC knows about, but that’s doubtful. I’ll grant that he’s probably better than your average 2-2 MMA fighter, but quite frankly, I want to see a fighter prove that he belongs in the UFC before he’s given a shot.
Let’s take, for example, Terry Etim. Before Etim ever fought in the UFC, he had built up a record of 9-0, and had beaten some very experienced opponents along the way. None of them were particularly tough, but at least Etim had something to recommend him for a shot in the UFC.
SILVA PREDICTION: TERRY ETIM (50.17) OVER EDWARD FAALOLOTO (N/A)
The new requirement to be awarded a SILVA score is very simple: have at least two wins against opponents with at least five career fights. Faaloloto doesn’t meet that standard; therefore, he gets no SILVA score. And my generic prediction in situations like this is to go with the man who does have a SILVA score, regardless of how strong or weak it is. And Terry Etim’s SILVA score isn’t weak; it’s reflective of a fighter who’s beaten quality opponents like Sam Stout, Shannon Gugerty, Matt Grice, and Justin Buchholz. Again, maybe Faaloloto will show why the UFC is giving him another shot… but I really doubt it.