The lightweight title is on the line when defending champion Pyry Kontio squares off against King Diamond in a three round affair. The oddsmakers have this one razor thin, slightly favoring Kontio (-117) over Diamond (-113) by the slimmest of margins.
I believe they are gravely underestimating Kontio’s submission game.
There is no doubt that King Diamond has the hands necessary to give Kontio problems. A powerful lightweight who walks around about six pounds heavier than the champ, Diamond has shown he can finish people on the feet. Working from the southpaw stance in his QFC debut, the man they call King showed off a strong right hook that had Alex De Nascimento reeling before finishing him off with a wrecking ball of a left straight.
Since that fight, however, Diamond has mostly abandoned the standup, preferring to use the wrestling skills he’s worked so hard to develop. In his title eliminator against Sun Lee, Diamond worked for five takedowns from the clinch, throwing just four punch combinations and landing just one.
If he tries to grapple with Pyry Kontio, he’s going to have a bad night.
While only sporting a purple belt in the martial art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Kontio has shown a ruthless aggression on the mat that has taken The Island by storm. In his first fight outside the QFC, Pyry locked on a triangle choke in under thirty seconds. He debuted here at Island FC 14, submitting Obat Timur with a kimura preceeded by some savvy punches and elbows to create the opening.
In his championship victory over Herminio Herculano, Kontio was at his absolute best, using an americana to set up the arm triangle choke, forcing the former champ to submit in the 2nd round.
Pyry Kontio has shown that if you try to grapple with him, he will be looking for the submission, and he has a strong track record of finding it. Whether or not King Diamond tries to keep it on the feet — and, if he’s succesful doing so — will be the story of this fight.