Monday, January 22, 2007

Jake O’Brien’s Mid-Term Exam

In a division where the champion (Tim Sylvia) is 30, the next challenger to the crown (Randy Couture) is 43, and the rest of the standouts (Andrei Arlovski, Mirko Cro Cop, Gabriel Gonzaga, Brandon Vera) range in age from 27 to 32, 22-year old heavyweight Jake O’Brien is not only the baby of the group, he’s the future.

Being in the public eye as an undefeated and highly touted prospect has its downside though, mainly when it comes to high expectations. Case in point was O’Brien’s UFC 65 bout against fellow unbeaten Josh Schockman last November. Expected to be a heated battle between two hungry up and comers, the fight instead turned into a dreary war of attrition won by O’Brien via unanimous decision, and which was greeted by boos from the Sacramento crowd.

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