Tag Archive for Victory

Keys To Victory! Poirier Vs. Gaethje

One of the best lightweight matchups on paper for 2018 will unfold later tonight (Sat., April 14, 2018) at UFC on FOX 29 from inside Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, as UFC veteran Dustin Poirier takes on maniac brawler Justin Gaethje in the main event.

If Poirier’s clash with Gaethje goes down as advertised then it may very well be a Fight of the Year candidate. Both fighters are fully equipped to take a beating and eventually find a finish, so pairing the two is matchmaking at its finest.

With individual title hopes at stake, both “Diamond” and “Highlight” will push beyond human capacity to find victory this weekend in Glendale. In order to understand their best chances to leave UFC on FOX 29 a winner we take a closer look at the keys to victory for both lightweights.

Dustin Poirier

1. Conserve and protect…

Gaethje is basically a human battering ram. He has no issue walking inside on an opponent, keeping his chin high in the air, unloading ferocious leg kicks, and inviting his adversary into a war of attrition, longevity, and sheer will.

While Poirier has been involved in a few brawls throughout his UFC career, including a ridiculous throwdown with Eddie Alvarez back at UFC 211, “Diamond” isn’t going to do himself any favors if he plays into the thick-headed game plan of Gaethje. He may end up victorious, but his face could literally be unrecognizable.

Instead of unloading straight out of the gate and giving “Highlight” what he thrives on, Poirier must pace himself and pick his shots. The best course of action for the former featherweight is to conserve energy, move around the pocket so Gaethje can’t find a home for his punishing leg kicks, and drag this main event affair into the fourth and fifth rounds.

2. Remain tactical…

Even though Poirier isn’t the greatest striker you’re ever going to come across, his skills on the feet are certainly above average. “Diamond” has really worked on his combinations and footwork over the past few years and it has showed against game strikers like Alvarez, Bobby Green, and Yancy Medeiros.

In order to milk his standup for everything it has against a wild puncher like Gaethje, Poirier must remain crisp and sharp in the pocket. Gaethje is a wizard at dragging opponents into a brawl, which often leads to sloppy counter strikes, winging hooks, and plodding movement. Poirier can’t fall into that sort of trap or else he will leave himself susceptible to a knockout. Instead, “Diamond” needs to tighten up his punches, extend himself when it’s least dangerous, and lean on his uppercuts inside.

Justin Gaethje

1. Leg kicks early…

It’s no secret that Gaethje is a master of leg kicks. The former WSOF champion owns three career finishes by way of leg kicks and absolutely battered the limbs of Johnson and Alvarez in his two UFC appearances.

While “Highlight” is capable of launching devastating kicks to the head and body, he still does most of his damage to the leg. Not much should change later this evening when Gaethje steps forward into the range of Poirier. Poirier is going to be sticking his jab out like a cat pawing a mouse, but “Highlight” should willingly walk through those shots to put shin to leg.

Assuming Gaethje is able to land his patented leg kicks early and often, Poirier’s hobbled frame will be unable to last long in this fight. Gaethje can then dictate the atmosphere and pace of the action before he finds a window for a finish.

2. Welcome the pain…

Despite losing in devastating fashion opposite “Underground King” just over four months ago, don’t expect Gaethje to avoid damage this weekend in Glendale. If anything, “Highlight” now understands his bodily threshold and should be more than willing to exchange with Poirier until he’s no longer capable of absorbing shots.

While fighting this way puts Gaethje in danger against any lightweight he faces, including Poirier, few opponents can match the toughness of the Arizona native inside of the Octagon. Poirier may think he can, but he’s going to find out the hard way that Gaethje is basically a walking zombie that simply doesn’t go away. When the fight comes down to the two lightweights going tit-for-tat, Gaethje is more likely to exit victorious.

Prediction: Gaethje via third-round TKO

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 29 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX at 6 p.m. ET, before the FOX main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.

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ONE: ‘Visions of Victory’ Preview (Pt. 1)

ONE: “Visions of Victory” is set for Kuala Lumpur this Friday (March 9, 2018). The card has had a bit of a reshuffle but in some respects the rejigged version is superior to the original.

Adriano Moraes is injured so we don’t get a title fight, but he would have been a big favorite against Reece Mclaren. Instead, the Australian finds himself facing local favorite Gianni Subba in a fight which could easily go either way.

Subba’s original opponent, Danny Kingad, is still on the card and now faces Sotir Kichukov so there was no harm done there. The only problem from ONE Championship’s perspective is that there will soon be an interim flyweight champion, a regular champion and two top contenders.

It’s not a bad problem to have because it throws up some interesting fights. Maybe Geje Eustaquio can rematch Moraes immediately to unify the belts or, if not, Stefer Rahardian can challenge one champion and the winner of this week’s main event can take on the other.

We also get a look at explosive young featherweight Christian Lee and undefeated welterweight newcomer Kiamrian Abbasov.

Here’s my preview of the first five fights:

137.8 lbs.: Riski Umar vs. Khon Sichan

Cambodian fighters don’t have a great winning ration in ONE Championship but are always willing to take tough matchups. Khon Sichan (2-3) made his promotional debut in 2015 and has plenty of Kun Khmer experience.

Riski Umar (2-0) has blasted his way through low level competition in his two ONE Championship fights but takes big risks to land strikes and might find Sichan a bit more of a challenge in the stand up exchanges.

115 lbs.: Jihin Radzuan vs. Puja Tomar

Jihin Radzuan (1-0) is a former MIMMA champion and holds a 7-2 amateur record. She;s won medals or competitions in Muay Thai and Wushu, holds a blue belt in BJJ and is rated very highly on the MMA scene in Malaysia.

Puja Tomar (2-2) joined ONE Championship from SFL but it’s almost impossible for Indian trained fighters to compete on the international scene. Radzuan gets to work with some experienced coaches in Johor Bahru every day while her opponent’s Wushui won’t be of much use if this goes to the ground.

145 lbs.: Muhammad Aiman vs. Rin Saroth

Muhammad Aiman (3-2) is another former MIMMA champion and he has a decision win over a BJJ black belt on his pro record. He’s extremely well rounded and spends a lot of time training with the Leone brothers in Bali.

Rin Saroth (2-4) will be a big underdog but Cambodian Top Team have a BJJ black belt coaching their fighters now so don’t be surprised to see some big improvements in their ground game.

155 lbs.: Ahmed Mujtaba vs. Ma Jia Wen

Ahmed Mujtaba (9-1) has plenty of experience fighting outside of his native Pakistan and has beaten decent fighters from Singapore, China, India and the Philippines. He’s an aggressive striker who is competent on the ground.

However Mujtaba’s last win was extremely fortuitous as his opponent was DQd for illegal strikes. Ma Jia Wen (4-2) is a veteran of four ONE Championship fights who is coming off back to back wins and this could go either way.

125lbs.: Michelle Nicolini vs. Iryna Kyselova

We all know what multiple time BJJ world champion Michelle Nicolini (4-1) brings to the table. All her wins have come by way of first round submission although she’s had plenty of time to sharpen up her striking at Evolve MMA.

Iryna Kyselova (11-2) is much more experienced in MMA terms but the last time she faced a Brazilian she was submitted in the second round, and Juliana Werner is not exactly known for her grappling. I don’t see Nicolini losing this.

The full ONE: “Visions of Victory” card can be purchased for $ 9.99 USD from here and the first three fights are being shown live on the ONE Championship Facebook page.

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Jussier ‘Formiga’ Gets Callout from Sergio Pettis Following UFC 221 Victory

Jussier da Silver is hoping for a title shot following this past weekend’s win over Ben Nguyen, but if that doesn’t happen, he at least has another willing dance partner for a future fight.
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Alexander Volkanovski Eyeing Ranked Opponent with a Victory at UFC 221

Emerging Australian Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight fighter Alexander Volkanovski is confident that a victory over Jeremy Kennedy this weekend at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia
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Alexander Volkanovski Eyeing Ranked Opponent with a Victory at UFC 221

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Alexander Volkanovski Eyeing Ranked Opponent with a Victory at UFC 221

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