Ian Entwistle – Too Much Too Soon?

Ian “Enty” Entwistle made his UFC debut at the weekend against Daniel Hooker in New Zealand but the fight didn’t go the Brits way and resulted in his second professional loss. Entwistle didn’t stray from his game plan and attacked for the submission from the offset but unlike six of his previous opponents who have all succumbed to the submissions of Entwistle, Hooker was able to ride the storm and use Entwistle’s game plan against him.

The Kiwi ended the fight but reigning down vicious elbows on Entwistle who was desperately holding onto a heel hook attempt. The referee called a stop to the action at 3:34 of the first round which maintains Entwistle’s record of never seeing the second round of a fight. The fight raised a few questions which I am sure Entwistle will be looking to answer in the coming weeks but for me it raised the question as to whether or not Entwistle was ready to compete in the UFC in only his tenth professional fight?

Prior to signing with the UFC, Entwistle had spent his fair share of time competing in the upper echelons of European MMA having fought four times for Cage Warriors and also for OMMAC. He had also amassed a record of 8-1 with all wins coming in the first round. So it’s fair to say that looking purely at the history of his opponents and being able to deal with fighting on a big stage that he was probably “as ready as possible” to make the switch to the UFC.

Interestingly looking at his record alone it is not different to the other UK fighters who have recently signed with the UFC;

Bradley Scott – Scott caught his break with the UFC during The Ultimate Fighter Smashes series in which he was able to reach the finals. Scott was 8-1 before signing up to be a competitor on TUF.
Luke Barnatt – Much like Brad Scott, Barnatt was part of the TUF crew and was Chael Sonnen’s first pick. Ahead of his promotional debut “The Bigslow” was 5-0.
Scott Askham – Askham had been calling out to be signed to the UFC for a while and his dream was finally answered following his dominant title defence over Max Nunes. Askham is 12-0.

Being a “one trick pony” in MMA is a very risky strategy to adopt and perhaps the result of this fight will alter the way that Entwistle approaches his future fights. Just ask Paul Sass, Rousimar Palhares and Ronda Rousey. Entwistle makes no secret of the fact that he will do absolutely all he can to get hold of a leg but when he is being put up against fighters who have the defence for his attack then he is opening himself up to trouble.

In conclusion I think it’s fair to say that Entwistle is definitely “ready” for the UFC and hasn’t been signed up too early. There are a number of factors which could of played a big part of the outcome of the fight. Such as fighting against a hometown fighter, pressure of making an impact on such a big roster, or just that Hooker was better than him on the night. Im sure that Entwistle would have learnt a lot from the loss as most fighters do and will rebound stronger and more confident. Although the UFC can sometimes seem harsh in their fighter cuts it’s pretty certain that Entwistle will get at least one more shot with them at the very least so let’s all get behind him in his next fight which hopefully will go his way.

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