UFC 223 has turned into a mess. After Conor McGregor’s bus incident on Thursday and Max Holloway being deemed unfit to compete, the card looks completely different than it did 48 hours ahead of the event.
So, I am going to give you a faster, shorter than usual preview and forecasts for the newly revised UFC 223 card.
The main event between Al Iaquinta and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Iaquinta is a well-rounded fighter with defense in each facet of the game. On the other hand, the only time we have seen him struggle in the last two years was a quick victory over a shop-worn Diego Sanchez. Nurmagomedov has the best grappling in MMA and though there are absolutely some holes in his striking game, it simply doesn’t matter once”The Eagle” gets his hands on his competitor. Nurmagomedov will win but don’t doubt Iaquinta’s capacity to make this one demanding for the Russian.
The co-main occasion, which thankfully has not yet been affected, sees Joanna Jedrzejczyk look to regain her strawweight title vs Rose Namajunas. Jedrzejczyk was clearly not herself in the very first battle, which may likely be attributed to her inability to decode Namajunas emotionally before stepping foot to the Octagon. Although Jedrzejczyk is much more focused this time round, Namajunas is a much 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 in the game that is spectacular. Kattar prefers to be the aggressor while Moicano likes to stick at scope, working his jabs and leg kicks. I give the advantage to Moicano thanks to his motion and ability to stay calm against a competitive striker.
Zabit Magomedsharipov, among the greatest prospects at the featherweight division, has his chance to shine on the PPV when he takes on Kyle Bochniak. Magomedsharipov absolutely demolished his first two opponents in the UFC on his way to submission successes. Bochniak is a low-output striker who’s more concerned about defense than offense. But in all honesty, Bochniak has been fed to Magomedsharipov. This should not even be a competition.
A couple of high-octane combatants face off at the PPV curtain-jerker, as UFC stalwart Joe Lauzon takes on Chris Gruetzemacher. Lauzon has organic pop from his hands but weak striking defense and is at his finest at scrambles when he could use his glossy submissions. Gruetzemacher has not tried a takedown in his UFC tenure; instead,”Gritz” focuses on persistent forward pressure in the game that was striking. Lauzon’s inclination to get hit is a big issue but I expect his grappling skills to shine through.
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