George Sotiropoulos (born 9 July 1977) is an Australian born retired mixed martial artist of Greek descent who previously fought in the UFC in their Lightweight division. He is well known for appearing as a fighter on the TV show The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra, fighting on Team Serra and as the coach for Team Australia on The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Sotiropoulos defeated Billy Miles at The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs Team Serra Finale via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:36 of the first round.
Sotiropoulos defeated Roman Mitichyan at UFC Fight Night 13 on 2 April 2008 by TKO in the second round.
He was scheduled to fight judoka Karo Parisyan at UFC 87, however Sotiropoulos was forced to withdraw due to injury.
Sotiropoulos was then expected to face Matt Grice at UFC Fight Night 17, but was forced to withdraw due to another injury.
After an 18-month break in his career, Sotiropoulos switched weight classes, winning his Lightweight debut at UFC 101 on 8 August 2009 against George Roop. During the bout, he showcased his high level grappling skills, passing Roop’s guard with ease. Sotiropoulos eventually forced the tap out with a kimura lock in the second round.
Sotiropoulos defeated Ultimate Fighter 9 alumni Jason Dent in the second round via armbar submission on 21 November 2009, at UFC 106. In a post-fight interview following the win, Sotiropoulos stated his desire to compete at the UFC 110 card, in Sydney, Australia. Sotiropoulos’ wish was granted and faced Joe Stevenson on 21 February 2010 at UFC 110. Making his first appearance on the main card of a UFC pay-per-view event, Sotiropoulos improved to 5–0 in the UFC as he defeated Stevenson via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, 30–27) in a dominant performance, prompting Dana White to say that Sotiropoulos was “in the mix” for a title shot. The fight earned Sotiropoulos his first Fight of the Night award in the UFC.
Sotiropoulos fought Kurt Pellegrino at UFC 116 on 3 July 2010, and won by a commanding unanimous decision.
Sotiropoulos then faced Joe Lauzon on 20 November 2010 at UFC 123. Sotiropoulos survived a fast start by his opponent, thus gassing Lauzon in one round, and allowing Sotiropoulos to dominate the next round, winning by kimura in the second round in a bout that won Fight of the Night honors. The win pushed Sotiropoulos to a perfect 7–0 record in the UFC and established him as one of the top contenders in the UFC’s lightweight division.
Sotiropoulos suffered his first UFC loss to Dennis Siver via unanimous decision at UFC 127. Sotiropoulos was unable to take the fight to the ground and was forced to strike with the German Kickboxing Champion Siver. The loss setback Sotiropoulos’ chances of a title shot.
Sotiropoulos was expected to face Evan Dunham on 2 July 2011 at UFC 132. However, Dunham was forced out of the bout with an injury, and replaced by Rafael dos Anjos. Sotiropoulos was knocked out just 59 seconds into the first round.
Sotiropoulos was expected to face former PRIDE Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi on 26 February 2012 at UFC 144. However, Sotiropoulos was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by Eiji Mitsuoka.
In July 2012 Sotiropoulos was confirmed as the Australian coach for The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes, and faced Ross Pearson on 15 December 2012 at the finale – UFC on FX 6. Pearson dominated him throughout the fight, and although he narrowly avoiding being knocked out several times, Sotiropoulos was visibly rocked in all three rounds; being knocked down in two of them. He eventually lost the fight via third-round TKO from Pearson.
Sotiropoulos faced Hawaiian K.J. Noons on 19 October 2013 at UFC 166. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.
After losing four in a row, Sotiropoulos was released from his UFC contract on 18 December 2013.