2022 continues to be an excellent yr for UFC recruitment. This week, we’ve an honest-to-god fascinating middleweight combat on the prime, and a few odd—and hopefully thrilling—matchups to fill the remainder of the cardboard.
Leon Aliu (10-1) vs Brunno Ferreira (8-0)
The principle combat is the wonder right here. Italy’s Leon Aliu has six wins by end, 4 of these being submissions. His choke recreation is terrifying for how robust his squeeze can get. Whereas his stance isn’t nice, he’s bought dynamite in his fingers as nicely. His leg kicks don’t look superb; he appears to prioritize getting his weight again on his legs to maintain punching. His putting protection might use some work as nicely, however his offense is heavy all the best way. His solely notable wins are towards UFC vet Amilcar Alves (who stays in a profession freefall) former prospect Chase Gamble, and his current win over James Webb in Cage Warriors. What he does has labored nice for him up to now and can carry him for some time, however he’s bought some work to do to get forward, win or lose.
Brunno (sure, that’s two “Ns” there) is a really athletic fighter. Huge takedowns, large punches from prime place, and glorious positional consciousness together with his grappling. His putting recreation can also be robust, even when he might additionally use some assist together with his protection. His resume isn’t intensive, however he’s been preventing extra skilled fighters and appears to be the extra prepared, between these two males, for the trials of the right UFC roster. Being a 6-0 fighter and defeating an opponent that’s 33-18 with one draw is a reasonably good look, and the manner he wins fights goes to do him quite a lot of favors.
Raul Rosas Jr. (5-0) vs Mando Gutierrez (7-1)
One of the vital notable skills this week is the 17-year-old Raul Rosas. Get used to that, as a result of UFC shoulder programming has been driving his younger age into the bottom. After a pair of wins on the novice stage, he turned professional and has all finishes on his sterling report. Given his relative inexperience, there’s no actual notable opposition and all of his previous opponents had two fights or much less on the professional stage when he fought them.
Including all of this up leaves us with too many questions as to how well-equipped he’s for this specific step. However he’s bought a improbable spotlight reel and clearly the matchmakers/scouts are seeing quite a lot of upside right here. And they need to. His grappling recreation is tight and methodical whereas he runs a constant and powerful tempo. This child is nice, has room to develop, and is available in with a ton of expertise. His ceiling isn’t outlined in any respect but, and there’s rather a lot to love right here.
Gutierrez has six submission wins, 5 of them are rear bare chokes. He would possibly battle a bit coping with the attain of Rosas, however he’s a really succesful striker and might maintain his personal on the bottom. He will be pressured with putting, but additionally has nice submission protection and a few very heavy floor strikes.
Austen Lane (11-3) vs Richard Jacobi (6-0-1)
Lane is a former NFL participant that was beforehand on Contender Collection again in 2018, the place he suffered a loss to Greg Hardy. Right here’s what I stated about him then:
As for Lane? He’s quietly pursued MMA for a while together with his first combat being in 2015. Throughout this time, he’s earned himself a pleasant 5-1 report on the novice stage and moved on to 4-0 as a professional. 4 of these novice wins have been knockouts, one a TKO. His novice profession has been largely towards fighters making their novice debut, as have been his first two skilled opponents. The final two fighters he’s confronted have been 6-13 and 4-0. Lane’s bought some good straight punches he can fireplace down the center and he’s not afraid to get hit. His reactions are a bit gradual and his motion is a bit clunky, however he’s bought self-discipline and will be fairly spry when he smells blood.
He misplaced to Frank Tate through strikes as nicely after that. Since that setback, nonetheless? 7-1 and all of them have been finishes apart from his final bout, the place his opponent suffered a leg damage. He’s nonetheless a hard-hitter that blitzes opponents and has pace in his ft and fingers. It’s protection and talent to take a shot towards the heavier guys which can be an issue.
However he can most likely take this if he’s sensible about it. He’s up towards Richard Jacobi, a Brazilian heavyweight that has solely two of his fights going to a call. One was a win, the opposite a draw. Whereas he’s beating the brakes off the opposition, we have to study that opposition. A few of it ain’t good. Regardless of being 6-0, he’s bought an opponent that was 0-1 and one other that was 0-3.
Nonetheless, there’s solely a lot you’ll be able to ask for a fighter developing within the heavyweight ranks wherever on the earth. His most skilled opponent was 22-22 once they fought, and within the midst of a 4 combat shedding streak. That man’s solely fought as soon as since, and misplaced that one. No disrespect to any events concerned, it’s simply robust to get a learn on the potential for a prospect when he’s dusting husky dudes with iffy data. Jacobi positively has the firepower to place Lane away, but when Lane retains his head off the middle line and mixes issues up whereas controlling the clinch and outworking Jacobi, it’s his combat to win. This actually might go both manner.
Nurullo Aliev (6-0) vs Josh Wick (12-5)
Aliev is the uncommon Contender Collection participant that doesn’t have a ton of finishes on his report, however smothers with grappling management and has calculated and sensible putting. He’s bought all of the instruments to be a tricky take a look at for anybody at this stage, and will proceed to develop his expertise to change into an excellent addition to the UFC roster.
Wick as suffered some losses to extra skilled opposition up to now, however would possibly make nonetheless make it very troublesome for Aliev to earn his manner into the massive present. To not be confused with John Wick or Josh Wink, he brings his personal model of violence to the sport. His solely notable wins are towards former UFC fighter Cain Carrizosa and present UFC expertise Vince Morales. Whereas he would possibly spend a piece of this combat on his again, issues ought to go manner smoother for him if he retains it standing and retains pivoting to discourage takedown makes an attempt.
Jafel Filho (13-2) vs Roybert Echeverria (7-0)
Filho was a mainstay for Shooto Brazil, and racked up most of his wins there and even difficult for the title as soon as. Whereas he wasn’t profitable then, he’s continued to make use of his flypaper grappling strategy to fights. That always finally ends up with him forcing fighters into worse and worse conditions on the bottom till he will get the opening he desires for his submission makes an attempt. He’s at present bought a sizzling hand with a four-fight win streak that features a win over Vinicius Salvador, who defeated Shannon Ross earlier this yr on Contender Collection.
Echeverria could also be undefeated, however there’s quite a lot of holes to poke at right here. For starters, he has a previous opponent that was 2-5. Not egregious once you’re developing and have little expertise. However then fought Earnest Partitions when Partitions was 2-15, solely to combat him once more when Partitions was 2-17. That second win towards Partitions was adopted by a win towards a fighter that was 0-2 whereas Echeverria was 5-0. He managed to eke out a cut up choice towards the very robust Wascar Cruz in Titan FC this previous December. He does quite a lot of issues proper, however has too many query marks round him to belief him totally towards an aggressive and exact submission grappler.
You possibly can take a look at the weigh-ins right here, courtesy of the crew at MMAJunkie:
Full card is as follows:
Leon Aliu (186.0) vs. Brunno Ferreira (184.0) – Middleweight
Raul Rosas Jr. (134.0) vs. Mando Gutierrez (135.5) – Bantamweight
Austen Lane (240.5) vs. Richard Jacobi (244.5) – Heavyweight
Nurullo Aliev (155.5) vs. Josh Wick (156) – Light-weight
Roybert Echeverria (125.0) vs. Jafel Cavalcante Filho (125.5) – Flyweight
Dana White’s Contender Collection takes place this Tuesday evening beginning on the common begin time of 8:00pm EST. This occasion streams stay and solely on ESPN+.