First and Worst: Week of December 1 – December 7, 2014

By Adam Martin

First and Worst is an ongoing series for, where every week Adam will make his pick for the best and worst newly-announced fight of the past week (Monday to Sunday). If you’d like to see any additions to this series, hit him up on Twitter @MMAdamMartin.

First: Akira Corassani vs. Sam Sicilia, UFC on FOX 14

My pick for the best new fight announced this past week is the upcoming featherweight bout at UFC on FOX 14 between TUF alumni Akira Corassani and Sam Sicilia. The event takes place January 24 at Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, and this fight will most likely be featured on the evening’s preliminary card.

It was a light week for fight announcements, and in general this isn’t the kind of fight I would pick as the week’s best announcement, but for this quiet week it’s good enough for me. Both Corassani, who competed on TUF 14, and Sicilia, of TUF 15 fame, are coming off of losses and the loser of this match is likely going to be cut, but having said that, I expect a very exciting fight for as long as it lasts.

Corassani is a fun fighter to watch, and has skills both on the feet and on the ground, but he has shown a poor chin in his career, and Sicilia is certainly a hard hitter, especially at 145 lbs. So if he connects with Corassani’s chin, he will most likely put him out. Having said that, Corassani trains with Renzo Gracie, his BJJ is quite underrated, and we’ve seen time after time again that Sicilia has poor submission defence. So while Sicilia will have the offensive wrestling advantage here, if he does try to take Corassani down to the mat he could be in worlds of trouble. So it’s an intriguing style matchup, for sure.

Obviously neither of these guys is a household name, and neither will be winning the UFC title anytime soon. Corassani is 3-2 in the UFC and Sicilia is 3-4, and those aren’t impressive records at all, but that doesn’t mean these two action fighters won’t look to push the pace and get the finish. I’m expecting both fighters to feel like they have their backs up against the wall in this one and leave it all in the cage and out of the hands of the judges, and as a fan, that’s a good combo that should lead to an exciting fight.

UFC on Fox 14

Akira Corassani vs. Sam Sicilia

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Worst: Andy Ogle vs. Makwan Amirkhani, UFC on FOX 14

My pick for the worst new matchup announced this past week is the upcoming featherweight bout at UFC on FOX 14 between former TUF 15 contestant Andy Ogle and UFC newcomer Makwan Amirkhani. This bout is certainly going to be part of the Fight Pass prelims at UFC on FOX 14, and more than likely this is going to be the card’s curtain jerker.

I honestly thought Ogle had been cut from the UFC, and was shocked when I heard this fight announcement. After going 1-4 in the Octagon, I assumed the UFC cut him, but apparently they didn’t, as he’s obviously been booked for this bout against Amirkhani, who is making his UFC debut. Amirkhani, who is from Finland, is only 1-1 in his last two bouts, so I’m surprised the UFC decided to sign him, but they must see something in him since they gave him a spot on the active roster.

What I think this fight is all about is testing where Amirkhani stacks up against one of the lower-tiered featherweights in the UFC, while at the same time seeing if Ogle is worthy of being just a gatekeeper in the UFC. If Amirkhani can’t beat Ogle, then the UFC could very well release him after one fight, but if he looks impressive they might have a decent European prospect on their hands. As for Ogle, if he loses like expected, he’ll be cut, but if he can win — especially if he can find a finish — the UFC could keep him around for future UK cards.

Having said all of that, this isn’t a very compelling matchup on paper, and I’m not expecting much at all when these two collide on the card in January. Who knows, maybe the fight could be exciting, but still, it’s not a fight that anyone is really looking for, and of all the fights announced this past week, I think it’s the worst of the bunch.

UFC on Fox 14

Andy Ogle vs. Makwan Amirkhani

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UFC on Fox 14: Gustafsson vs. Johnson is due to take place on January 24, 2015 at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.

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