UFC FN 57: Isaac Vallie-Flagg Sees “FOTN” Potential Versus Matt Wiman, “Places” to Record Finish
By Kelsey Mowatt
When Isaac Vallie-Flagg steps into the Octagon for his fourth, UFC bout to date, he’ll take on a veteran who like himself, isn’t known for being a passive fighter.
On November 22nd, at UFC Fight Night 57, Vallie-Flagg has been booked to face veteran lightweight Matt Wiman, and the Jackson-Wink MMA fighter sounds pretty pleased about the match-up.
“I was excited, just because I’ve always watched the UFC lightweight division, even before I was in the division, I was always kind of a fan of Matt’s”, Vallie-Flagg said on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, when asked for his reaction upon finding out he’ll battle Wiman next. “I like his aggressive style and stuff, so I thought it was going to be a tough fight, and it was one I was excited about, because we both, the way we fight, we have the potential to earn another “Fight of the Night” bonus.”
Vallie-Flagg (14-5-1) is coming off a “FOTN” performance in April, for his thrilling scrap with Takanori Gomi at UFC 172. Unfortunately for the 36 year-old, however, Vallie-Flagg lost the memorable war by unanimous decision. As a result, the Strikeforce vet will be looking to end a two fight losing skid at UFC FN 57, as Vallie-Flagg was decisioned by Elias Silverio in January.
In Wiman (15-7), Vallie-Flagg will encounter a man who hasn’t fought since January, 2013, when he was stopped by lightweight contender TJ Grant. Prior to the defeat, the well rounded Wiman had scored consecutive wins over Paul Sass and Mac Danzig.
“Matt is really good at imposing his will on people and trying to break them,” said Vallie-Flagg, who had gone undefeated in 12 straight bouts before he took on Silverio. “I think he’s going to have a harder time doing that with me. There’s some stuff that I’ve looked at stylistically, and kind of dissected with Greg (Jackson) and Wink (Mike Winkeljohn), about ways that we’re going to beat him using his style against him.”
“I think his strengths are kind of my strengths as well,” Vallie-Flagg furthered about the 31 year-old Wiman. “I think that’s why we’re going to end up making such a good match. I think it’s also the reason that I’m going to end up winning.”
And how does Vallie-Flagg envision the fight with Wiman going? In terms of whether more of the action will be standing or on the ground?
“Like you said, Matt is well rounded, so I think it’s going to end up going to the ground, and it’s going to be a stand-up fight and everything, which, you know, I’m comfortable with that. I like that,” Vallie-Flagg noted. “I think it’s going to be a mixed-martial-arts fight, not a one sided, either stand-up war or ground fight.”
“I’d like it to be short night, but Matt’s proven in the past that he’s got a solid chin on him,” the New Mexico fighter furthered, when asked whether he’s expecting the bout to be short or long affair. “He’s a super tough, game guy. Of course I’m going to look for a finish, I think there are some places where I can finish him, but that being said, he’s tough, and he’s hard to finish. So it could end up going all three rounds.”
UFC FN 57 will be hosted by the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.
You can read more from Vallie-Flagg, including his thoughts on his “FOTN” bout with Gomi by heading here.