George Sotiropoulos (14-6) was approaching his moment riding a train of success.
The “Sotiropoulos Express” left the station at The Ultimate Fighter Finale where he defeated Billy Miles by rear naked choke in the first round.
The Express gained momentum rolling over UFC vets like George Roop, Joe Stevenson, Kurt “Batman” Pelligrino and Joe Lauzon.
“Things were going well, everything was going my way, I was well conditioned. I was fighting consistently (2 fights in ’09, 3 in ’10) I was able to get my name out there. The UFC gave me a lot of opportunities and I basically came to the UFC with nothing and they helped me set myself up.”
It was the hype train of hype trains and its next stop was the home country of George.
But that’s where it was derailed.
After a 7 fight winning streak and what many consider to be an automatic bid at the UFC Lightweight title if Sotiropoulos gained the victory that night it all ended.
Dennis Siver won a Unanimous Decision in a striking clinic and put took the “Sotiropolus Express” off the tracks to success.
George dropped his next 3 bouts culminating with a loss to KJ Noons by unanimous decision at UFC 166 ultimately resulting in the termination of his contract.
“I got distracted,” said George.
“I wasn’t focused as much, just part of the game, you win and you lose but you get through those rough times.”
The night is always darkest just before the dawn, and I promise you, the dawn is coming” – Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight.
There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and the word is, the “Sotiropoulos Express” is back on the track.
Next stop is North Carolina where George will make his Titan Fighting Championships debut in the main event of Titan FC 29 where he will face Mike Ricci (9-4).
George has been training hard and is ready for his debut.
“Training has been going well, I’ve been working in every part of my game, wrestling, boxing, bjj, mma, muay thai and just focusing on everything. I’m glad and grateful for this opportunity and I’m happy about it and looking forward to it.”
Sotiropoulos expects his return to yield a finish but respects his opponent.
“I think it’s a great fight, he’s an up and comer but wherever the fight goes I’m more than ready. He was tested hard against higher caliber guys in the UFC but I know I can beat him. I can see myself finishing him, I know I can, i don’t know the way or the round but we will see. Maybe the 2nd or 3rd but it’s always hard to predict exactly how a fight will end but we always look for the positive.”