Welcome to the UFC: Takashi Sato

Ben Saunders will step in to face Jake Ellenberger at UFC Utica Takashi Sato
Ben Saunders (right) Credit: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com

Takashi Sato is a well-known name in Japanese MMA and he will be heading to the Octagon for the first time at UFC Fort Lauderdale against veteran Ben Saunders.

The UFC is coming to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the BB&T Center on April 27. The card is headlined by a rematch, Yoel Romero vs. Ronaldo Souza. UFC Fort Lauderdale is featuring many up-and-coming talents, returning fighters, and a few debuts. In a welterweight bout, Ben Sauders, who will be fighting in front of his home crowd, will welcome Japan’s Takashi Sato to the UFC.

Niigata, Japan
2 Submissions (Rear-Naked Choke, Arm-Triangle)

How Does Takashi Sato Fare in the UFC:

Takashi Sato is a staple out of the promotion founded in Japan, Pancrase MMA. On the feet, he favors a right jab with his left hand cocked back and ready to unload. Sato will throw single shots but is accurate with what he throws. He does a great job sticking with his right jab and firing his left hook to the head and to the body often. He also throws a nice lead right elbow as he does have a knockout in his career by elbow. Sato cuts off his opponents well, getting them against the cage. He has shown some slick judo throws but really utilizes trips against the cage. He’s at his best when on the mat, preferably on top. Sato has two submissions but it’s his ground-and-pound that is his best aspect. Sato has been taken down and has been dropped along with being finished by submission and KO/TKO. Overall, I don’t see him as a ranked fighter but he is a good test for about anyone.

  • Striking: B
  • Kickboxing: D
  • Clinch: C+
  • Wrestling: B-
  • Grappling: A
  • Striking Defense: C+
  • Takedown Defense: C
  • Cardio: B
  • Biggest Strength: Ground-and-Pound
  • Biggest Weakness: Tendency to Get Hit

How he matches up with Ben Saunders:

Saunders is 1-4 in his last five fights and has been finished eight times, seven by KO/TKO. Saunders is a well-respected veteran who, although isn’t the most dangerous, still proposes a threat. Sato will finish Saunders if he fights smart. Saunders doesn’t have the wrestling to get Sato down. The only worry is if Sato follows Saunders into his guard because Saunders is no joke on the mat. Sato should be the big favorite and he should win this fight.