Cameron Saaiman is the UFC Vegas 89 fighter to watch

Seeing how Cameron Saaiman will bounce back from a loss is one of the many reasons to keep an eye on him at UFC Vegas 89.
Dec 10, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Cameron Saaiman (red gloves) reacts to after fighting Steven
Dec 10, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Cameron Saaiman (red gloves) reacts to after fighting Steven / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

On a sneaky good card filled with prospects and interesting stylistic matchups, the most intriguing fight on UFC Vegas 89 has to be between bantamweight prospects Cameron Saaiman and Payton Talbott. Although Talbott brings an undeniably fan-friendly style to the bout, our eyes will be on Saaiman.

Saaiman is only 23 years old, a four-fight veteran of the UFC, but don't let his age and youthful look fool you. He has showcased a diverse striking game, often switching stances and utilizing all his weapons on the feet, to threaten submissions and deliver devastating ground and pound once the fight hits the mat. This aggressive style led to finishes in two of his first three fights in the UFC.

Having started his UFC career on a three-fight win streak, it is Saaiman's loss to Christian Rodriguez in his last fight that has us so excited to see what he looks like when he returns to the Octagon. Few fighters finish their careers having never tasted defeat, so how an individual responds to those defeats is what defines their careers.

As we have now seen on three consecutive occasions, Rodriguez's blend of skill, resilience, and cardio will put a mirror up to a prospect and show them who they are. The question now for Saaiman is what will he become?

Cameron Saaiman faces Payton Talbott on the UFC Vegas 89 card

As you want to see in a young fighter, Saaiman gets better every time he enters the Octagon. Initially plagued by a recklessness that resulted in point deductions in his first two UFC fights, Saaiman has taken a more controlled, albeit equally violent approach in his last two contests. What is going to be the next evolution in his game?

The relentless pressure of Rodriguez was a problem for Saaiman, resulting in an inability to stop the takedown as the fight went on. With Talbott having attempted one takedown in his two combined fights in the UFC and on Dana White's Contender Series, don't anticipate learning if Saaiman's takedown defense has improved. Talbott does however show a similarity with Rodriguez in his ability to wear his opponents down throughout a fight.

Undefeated at 7-0 with all five of his finishes coming outside of the first round, Talbott has shown a knack for picking his opponents apart on the feet and breaking them as the fight goes on. While Saaiman is the owner of seven victories outside of the first round, he does have a tendency to get hit. Will he be able to withstand the constant pressure and unpredictability of Talbott or better yet, not allow the fight to take place on Talbott's terms?

Against Rodriguez, Saaiman fought his opponent's fight, ultimately leading to his first career defeat. Has he used that experience to grow as a fighter and shore up some of the holes in his game or did Rodriguez deliver a road map to victory for Saaiman's opponents?

Every time a fighter steps in to the Octagon, we get to learn a little more about who they are and what their ceiling is. How Saaiman responds to his first time tasting defeat will tell us a lot about what type of fighter he is and why he is the fighter to watch on UFC Vegas 89.


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