Not that it issues a lot, however the UFC made my job simpler by rapidly discovering a substitute for Robbie Lawler to face Santiago Ponzinibbio. Whereas that contest might be on the principle card of UFC 282, it makes it so I don’t must guess which preliminary contest would have been moved to the paid a part of the cardboard. It additionally means Billy Quarantillo and Alexander Hernandez might be on the early preliminary card, however there’s no hurt in protecting them on this portion of the previews. Maintaining Ponzinibbio on the cardboard significantly will increase the depth because it leaves two contests on the prelims with not less than one ranked fighter… making certain the cardboard doesn’t find yourself being on the shallow finish of 2022 PPV’s. I wouldn’t go as far as to proclaim any of the fights function future title challengers, however there does look like some main challengers to select up a number of the Bonus cash.
For the early prelims preview, click on right here.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Chris Daukaus, Heavyweight
The Rozenstruik playbook is effectively established at this level. Both he blasts his opponent into oblivion or he loses. Ought to Rozenstruik lose, it could be from his opponent placing him away, but it surely appears extra seemingly they merely keep away from his energy and outpoint him given Rozenstruik has lengthy durations of inactivity. Rozenstruik has elevated his output some, however not sufficient for him to constantly win choices. Thus, we’re left with the two-true outcomes of Rozenstruik getting the KO or shedding.
Avoiding Rozenstruik’s energy is simpler stated than carried out. Given Rozenstruik’s full lack of a floor sport, the surest path to victory is to place the native of Suriname on his again. Nevertheless, Rozenstruik can also be conscious of that and has put in loads of effort and time to develop some stable takedown protection. The opposite route is to threat coming into his vary and getting blasted. Rozenstruik isn’t fairly on the uncooked degree of Francis Ngannou or Derrick Lewis by way of energy, however he isn’t far off. Given his kickboxing background, Rozenstruik is extra technical than both of these two and is expert at setting traps.
Daukaus isn’t a nasty boxer. In actual fact, he’s one of many higher pure boxers within the division, because of his quick palms. The previous policeman is a stable technician who has confirmed to be a surprisingly stable athlete regardless of his flabby body. To be truthful to Daukaus, he has been trimming off a number of the further weight that he’s been carrying. The query is whether or not that weight reduction might be a profit to him on this contest. Certain, it would enhance his conditioning, however that hasn’t been a problem to this point. Given Rozenstruik doesn’t push a heavy tempo, that’s even additional purpose to doubt it is going to be a problem.
The explanation for concern about Daukaus slimming down is that further weight might show to be helpful in maintaining Rozenstruik both on his again or in opposition to the fence. Daukaus has some wrestling in his background, however hasn’t secured a takedown but in his six UFC contests. He has proven some good clinch work in opposition to the fence, however that’s additionally taking part in with hearth given Rozenstruik has made strides throughout the clinch himself, scoring with energy strikes on the break.
Given he has been KO’d in his final two contests, Daukaus’ chin has come beneath query. Rozenstruik has been KO’d twice within the UFC as effectively, however he has additionally fought extra high-level competitors and KO’d his justifiable share. For Daukaus to battle his battle, which means strolling into Rozenstruik’s vary. It’s no assure he’ll go down with one strike, however Rozenstruik is sweet at discovering the strike he must hit the showers early. Rozenstruik by way of KO of RD1
Chris Curtis vs. Joaquin Buckley, Middleweight
If all goes in line with plan, these two stand a fairly good probability of selecting up an additional $50K. Although there are some notable variations of their strategy, each favor to face and commerce and have greater than ample provides of energy to show the lights out.
Buckley has obtained a sizeable push from the UFC ever since delivering one of many all-time nice KO’s on Impa Kasanganay. He’s had some ups and downs since that time, however he has displayed sufficient progress to justify no matter push the UFC has opted to offer him… not less than up so far. Buckley placed on a aggressive contest with Nassourdine Imavov earlier this yr, however finally got here up brief. Buckley has to start out successful fights that aren’t designed for him to get win if the push goes to proceed to be worthwhile.
Curtis is something however a fighter Buckley is meant to beat. One of many higher tales to shut out the yr 2021, Curtis bought his name the UFC lengthy after he’d established himself as one of many craftier strikers exterior of the UFC. It isn’t simply that Curtis makes use of tight and tidy approach; he additionally has sixth sense for understanding his opponents actions that solely comes with years of expertise. Simply ask Phil Hawes and Brendan Allen about Curtis’ instincts….
Buckley is inventive sufficient that he would possibly be capable of catch Curtis with one thing from out of left discipline, however the odds appear to be in opposition to that taking place. Curtis isn’t identified for his grappling, however neither is Buckley. Maybe Buckley can combine in sufficient takedowns to in some way steal away the win, however Curtis demonstrated unbelievable takedown protection in opposition to Rodolfo Vieira. Buckley has additionally struggled down the stretch of a number of of his contests, exhibiting a shoddy fuel tank. Buckley might be the extra bodily gifted expertise at this stage, however I’m not so certain he has acquired sufficient know-how to upend the savvy Curtis exterior of a puncher’s probability. Whereas Buckley has a greater puncher’s probability than most, I’m nonetheless not keen to say he’s extra more likely to put away Curtis when different fighters who’re extra confirmed haven’t been capable of. In actual fact, I see Curtis making the most of a fading Buckley. Curtis by way of TKO of RD3
- Raul Rosas Jr. Is on the age the place he ought to nonetheless be a senior in highschool. That alone ought to ship up a HUGE crimson flag for anybody taking a look at this battle. Sure, Rosas has proven that he’s filled with potential, however he’s been an expert for simply over a yr, all his wins previous to his DWCS look coming in opposition to lower than credible opponents. And whereas there’s little doubt he deserved his win that picked him up his UFC contract, he additionally was compelled to carry his opponent down for almost the whole lot of the competition. There’s additionally the historical past of younger fighters being rushed to the massive leagues too quickly. The UFC has way more to realize by seeing him succeed, so it could make sense to anticipate the UFC goes to pit him in opposition to an opponent he can get a win over. That describes Jay Perrin completely. Perrin is aware of rattling effectively that he’s being introduced in to lose too. Quick on athleticism, Perrin provides a very technical strategy together with toughness and intelligence. Whereas Rosas has extra uncooked athletic items, he additionally hasn’t bodily matured the identical approach Perrin has. Having simply barely turned 18, I’m unsure Rosas is bodily developed sufficient to take care of the physicality fighters within the UFC would deliver. Perrin by way of resolution
- It’s exhausting to imagine Edmen Shahbazyan remains to be simply 25. The gifted youth has already endured the arc of tremendous prospect to somebody who many view as a borderline washout. Given his youth, it could be silly to put in writing him fully off already, however he’s a traditional instance of why it’s silly to hurry prospects earlier than they’re prepared. Each certainly one of Shahbazyan’s losses got here in opposition to somebody presently populating the official UFC rankings, proving he isn’t shedding to bums. Nevertheless, he nonetheless must be taught to tempo himself, incorporate some conventional wrestling in along with his judoka expertise, and present higher approach in his placing. Supplied his confidence isn’t fully shattered, he’s expert sufficient to beat Dalcha Lungiambula even when these points haven’t been absolutely addressed. Lungiambula is a singular bodily expertise himself, possessing spectacular energy and a fast burst. Nevertheless, he additionally displays a brief fuel tank and one of many shorter frames at 185 that has created points for him in opposition to rangier opponents. Regardless of being on a three-fight shedding streak, Lungiambula has discovered some success in returning to his judoka roots in these contests. It’s been the opposite points which have dragged him down. Given Shahbazyan has separated himself from Edmond Tarverdyan, I anticipate he’s going to do a greater job of addressing his weaknesses than Lungiambula. Shahbazyan by way of TKO of RD2
- Whereas he hasn’t had the identical affect because the likes of Sean O’Malley, I preserve Billy Quarantillo has confirmed to be one of many higher signings off DWCS since its inception. Each time he has stepped into the Octagon, Quarantillo has placed on entertaining scraps, securing twice as many wins as losses to this point. There isn’t a specific space by which he excels – except one counts conditioning – however he’s all the time on the assault, urgent ahead in hopes of creating his opponent crack mentally. Given the psychological facet of issues has been the difficulty for Alexander Hernandez, that doesn’t bode effectively for him. Hernandez assuredly has the sting in bodily items, possessing critical energy in his fists and an explosive shot. Sadly, he’s by no means been the identical since struggling his first stoppage loss. Some fights he’s tentative, afraid to tug the set off. Others, he displays the identical aggression that helped him pull off his upset victory over Beneil Dariush in his UFC debut. Nevertheless, Hernandez is dropping right down to featherweight for the primary time since 2013. Granted, he took a while away to assist his physique regulate to the bigger weight minimize, but it surely’s nonetheless one thing that could be a concern. The priority might be how Hernandez views Quarantillo as Hernandez has frozen in opposition to opposition that’s imagined to beat him. Would he see Quarantillo in that gentle? Even when he doesn’t I anticipate Quarantillo will push the motion so exhausting that Hernandez cracks. Quarantillo by way of submission of RD3