Welcome to the UFC: Sasha Palatnikov

Sasha Palatnikov
Sasha Palatnikov Credit: UAW Warriors

UFC 255 will host two championship fights. Deiveson Figueiredo will defend his flyweight title against Alex Perez, and Valentina Shevchenko will defend her flyweight title against Jennifer Maia. Also on the card is Tim Means vs Mike Perry, Katlyn Chookagian vs Cynthia Calvillo, Brandon Moreno vs Brandon Royval, and much more. Louis Cosce, who won a UFC contract this season on the Contender Series, will be fighting another debuting athlete in Sasha Palatnikov. Palatnikov is the first UFC fighter from Hong Kong, though he trains in Las Vegas.

Sasha “The White Lotus” Palatnikov
Hong Kong but lives in Las Vegas, US
Syndicate MMA

How will Palatnikov fare in the UFC:

Palatnikov is an odd signing at only 5-2 but he is a very talented fighter. On the feet, Palatnikov has good long strikes and a diverse kicking attack. Sasha likes to spin with the kicks but is good at going to the legs ending the combinations that way. Coming into his striking range he is there to be hit/countered, as his hands are low/wide and chin high. His wrestling might not qualify as high-level but he will mix it up with the single leg.

Grappling-wise Palatnikov’s jiu-jitsu is decent. He will sit in the guard too long but has a smooth back take and is good at securing dominant positions. However, Palatnikov seems pretty easy to take down and his grappling defense needs work. He gets himself in bad positions getting his back taken and it can be too easy to pass his guard. Overall, he’s a creative striker on the feet but his overall defense may be too much of a flaw in the UFC.

  • Striking: B
  • Kickboxing: B
  • Clinch: B-
  • Wrestling: C+
  • Grappling: B-
  • Striking Defense: C
  • Takedown Defense: C-
  • Cardio: B-
  • Biggest Strength: Striking
  • Biggest Weakness: Grappling defense

How he matches up with Cosce:

Cosce does have a lot of power, that’s shown in all his bouts being one-round fights. The longest Cocse has been in the cage is 4:34. He has four finishes in under a minute. While that looks really good on paper, it’s still hard to tell how good he really is. No fault of his own, he just finishes guys too quick to really know how he’ll fare under pressure. Palatnikov has shown a lot more of himself thus far in his career. The question is whether Palatnikov can survive the first-round storm of Cosce — and if he does how will Cocse looking going into round two? Cosce is extremely dangerous and with the amount of pressure he puts on early I’m predicting him to catch Palatnikov, as the latter is defensively flawed.


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