UFC 223 has become a mess. After Conor McGregor’s bus episode on Thursday and Max Holloway being deemed unfit to compete, the card appears completely different than it did 48 hours ahead of the event.
So, I will provide you a faster, shorter than usual preview and predictions for the newly revised UFC 223 card.
The main event between Al Iaquinta and Khabib Nurmagomedov, first. Iaquinta is a well-rounded fighter with excellent defense in each facet of the game. However, the only real time we’ve seen him fight in the last two years was a quick victory over a shop-worn Diego Sanchez. Nurmagomedov has the ideal grappling in MMA and though there are some holes in his striking match, it just doesn’t matter when »The Eagle » gets his hands on his competitor. Nurmagomedov will win however, do not doubt Iaquinta’s capacity to make this one tough for the Russian.
The co-main occasion, which thankfully has not been affected, sees Joanna Jedrzejczyk seem to regain her strawweight title vs Rose Namajunas. Jedrzejczyk was clearly not herself in the very first fight, which can likely be attributed to her inability to decode Namajunas mentally before stepping foot into the Octagon. Although Jedrzejczyk is more focused this time round, Namajunas is a far more complete mixed martial artist and that I visit »Thug Rose » squeaking out a tough win.
Calvin Kattar and Renato Moicano are similar fighters from the simple fact that they prefer to overwhelm opponents from the game that is spectacular. Kattar prefers to be the aggressor while Moicano likes to stick at range, working his jabs and leg kicks. I give the advantage to Moicano thanks to his motion and ability to stay calm against an aggressive striker.
Zabit Magomedsharipov, among the greatest prospects in the featherweight division, gets his opportunity to shine on the PPV when he chooses on Kyle Bochniak. Magomedsharipov absolutely demolished his first two opponents in the UFC on his approach to submission successes. Bochniak is a low-output striker who is more worried about defense than offense. However, in all honesty, Bochniak is being fed to Magomedsharipov. This should not be a contest.
A couple high-octane combatants confront in the PPV curtain-jerker, as UFC stalwart Joe Lauzon takes on Chris Gruetzemacher. Lauzon has natural pop from his hands but poor striking defense and is at his finest at scrambles when he could use his glossy submissions. Gruetzemacher has not attempted a takedown in his UFC tenure; rather, »Gritz » targets relentless forward pressure in the striking game. Lauzon’s inclination to get hit is a big concern but I anticipate his working skills to shine through.
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