Tonight, Paul Daley will land one of his trademark knockout punches on Kazuo Misaki, giving him an early victory.
Daley isn't the most technical fighter, so there isn't much of a chance that his game plan will be anything different than what it has been in the past: swing for the fences and try to take his opponent out.
It almost worked against Nick Diaz and, if Daley had landed a harder punch, he might have won. Daley was also facing a fighter who was willing to stand and trade with him as well.
That may not be the case tonight with Misaki.
Misaki is the better fighter and, if the fight was happening back in 2006, there is a good chance that Misaki would win.
But Misaki is fighting the opponent of old age as well, having turned 35 last year and approaching his next birthday quickly. He isn't the fighter he once was and it is affecting him as it does all professional fighters. He has started losing more matches.
Back in 2006, Misaki was a force to be reckoned with in Pride, getting wins over Dan Henderson and Denis Kang. It wasn't until 2009 that the losses started piling on.
He made a great showing against Jorge Santiago in 2010, having one of the best fights of the year, but time plays a factor once again. It has been two years since that fight and, since then, Misaki has only beaten two opponents—both who have less then stellar records.
Misaki is still a dangerous veteran in his own right. He has only been knocked unconcious once as two of the three KOs on his record come from getting a broken arm in one fight and a corner stoppage in the other.
The catch is that two of the knockouts just happened recently. Misaki may want to continue competing, but if he keeps getting knocked out, it will shorten his fighting career.
Daley is only 29 and has seen less wars than Misaki. Along with his power, he should swarm Misaki and take him out, netting himself an impressive, highlight-reel KO in the process.
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