At the end of November, Sumudaerji announced that a new threat in the flyweight division had arrived.
Paired off with Malcolm Gordon for his first appearance in the 125-pound weight class, “The Tibetan Eagle” showed not only that he has continued to make major strides in his development, but also that he has the potential to be a problem in the flyweight ranks going forward. Working behind long, crisp strikes, “The Tibetan Eagle,” who turns 25 on Wednesday, picked apart the Canadian, stinging him with a collection of laser-targeted left hand rockets that found the mark and put him on the canvas in less than a minute.
Because that contest was the second bout of the evening and neither entered with much fanfare, it’s understandable if the performance slipped passed you. That being said, an effort like that cannot be overlooked and should serve to bring far more attention to the very intriguing new flyweight.
Sumudaerji is one of those fighters who accumulated a great deal of experience at a very young age, as he was already 11-3 in his career when he made his UFC debut at age 22. After getting submitted by returning veteran Louis Smolka in his first appearance, the promising young talent scored a unanimous decision win over Andre Soukhamthath in his sophomore outing and returned a little over a year later to deliver a breakout performance in his flyweight debut.
This week, Sumudaerji squares off with 28-year-old Zarrukh Adashev, who looks to rebound after catching a massive right hand from Tyson Nam on the chin in his debut last summer.
If Sumudaerji turns in another blistering effort like the one he delivered against Gordon when he steps in opposite Adashev, he’ll secure himself a birthday victory and position himself as an intriguing new player in the highly competitive, always entertaining flyweight division very early in the year.