UFC 98 Fight Week Preview: Drew McFedries Vs. Xavier Foupa-Pokam
It's UFC 98 fight week and that means previewing a different bout every day here on Bleacher Report for UFC 98, headlined by Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida.
So far, we've previewed Sean Sherk vs. Frank Edgar and Dan Miller vs. Chael Sonnen. Today, it's Drew McFedries vs. Xavier Foupa-Pokam.
About Drew McFedries (7-5)
The 30-year-old Iowa native is a tough dude, fighting out of the Miletich Fighting Systems camp. While he’s only had 12 career fights, McFedries (seen above) has been a pro since the fall of 2001 when he debuted against Nate Quarry on a regional show.
After amassing a 4-1 record in the regionals, McFedries got the UFC call and debuted with a TKO victory over Alessio Sakara at UFC 65 in November 2006. However, he’s never been able to put a consistent streak together and is just 2-4 since that debut win.
He had a busy 2008, competing four times with losses to Patrick Cote, Mike Massenzio and Thales Leites and a Knockout of the Night-winning victory over Marvin Eastman almost one year ago.
About Xavier Foupa-Pokam (20-10)
Hailing from Paris, France, the 26-year-old debuted at UFC 97 with a unanimous decision loss to Denis Kang. A pro since June 2002, XFP has fought all over the world including Sweden, Morocco, Denmark, Japan, England and Russia.
Before the loss to Kang, XFP had a seven-fight win streak and was victorious in 12 of his last 13.
Skilled in both submissions and delivering bone-crunching knees, he will be a handful for McFedries this Saturday. If you’re a fan of the show Human Weapon, XFP was featured in the Savate episode in their first season.
He is an injury replacement for James Irvin, who tore a meniscus and had to bow out.
Like Chael Sonnen, McFedries desperately needs a win to stay in the UFC’s good graces. XFP is still a bit of an unknown to the U.S. fan and will be looking to make a big impression on Saturday night.
McFedries has been susceptible to submissions (three of his five losses have been tapouts) and will have to be wary of the armbar, which XFP has been partial to in his career (five wins). We like Drew, but it’s not going to be his night.
XFP by 2nd round submission
Josh Nason - josh [at] ropesringandcage [dot com] - has published MMA, wrestling and boxing blog Ropes, Ring and Cage.com since 2007. He has been a contributor to Fight Magazine since January 2009 and Bleacher Report since 2008.