Two of the scariest Heavyweights with the fiercest kickboxing skills face off in this week’s main event, coming out of the UFC Apex Centre in Las Vegas, Nevada. The undefeated Cyril Gane meets his toughest test to date in Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the main event, while in the co-main, Nikita Krylov attempts to stop the hype of Magomed Ankalaev. We have two clear favourite plays and one at underdog odds for our weekly instalment. We take a look at that below.
Both men are coming into this bout on the back of knockout wins over former champion Junior dos Santos. Rozenstruik’s undefeated record was blown away in a matter of seconds against Francis Ngannou but he bounced back impressively against Junior dos Santos. In his loss to Ngannou I think it is best to wipe that from memory as a reference point as that punch would have knocked out anything or anyone that walks on two legs. However, in saying that, Gane is going to be a huge problem for ‘Bigi Boy’. Ever since Gane’s UFC debut I have marked him as a future champion. He came into the Octagon with only three professional wins but quickly extended his professional record to 7-0.
Gane operates best at kickboxing range but handles himself well in the clinch and has a well-educated lead jab that allows him to keep opponents at kickboxing range. Gane also has some underutilised and underappreciated ground skills that has seen him win three of his seven fights by decision, the best of which being a late heel hook win over Don’Tale Mayes. Gane is also such a highly educated kickboxer that he throws kicks that he can change the pace of midway through the motion. He often does this to test his opponents’ reactions and also is very good at faking low before coming up high. If it is a straight kickboxing fight, I will slightly favour Gane, if it is more of a dirty boxing fight or a grappling fight Gane will dominate. Wherever the fight goes Gane should come off the better and end up victorious. Follow this man closely because he is a serious problem for everyone in the Heavyweight division.
These two met back on The Ultimate Fighter 25 finale and Angela Hill came away with a decision victory. Fast forward three and a half years and I still see the outcome being the same. Yoder mixes in her takedowns with strikes quite well but she doesn’t have the power or ground skills to finish many fights as evident in her never finishing a fight in her eight UFC bouts. Angela Hill is incredibly tough and has the clear striking advantage in this match up. She is on a two-fight losing streak, both being by split decision and both being a little harsh on Hill. She is ever improving and has a fantastic work ethic. Hill should be able to keep it standing and land the more telling blows. If it does go to the ground, she is by no means outclassed by Yoder and should be able to either get back up or sweep her foe. Simply put back Hill confidently.
Alexander Hernandez started his UFC career with a bang knocking out Beneil Dariush and then beating the highly touted Oliver Aubin-Mercier by decision. Since then his losses to Cerrone and Dober has led me to believe he isn’t actually all that he was made out to be. While I admit his win over Chris Gruetzemacher in his most recent bout was impressive, he will need to be further improved if he is to beat Thiago Moises. Moises most recently won a decision against Bobby Green and he is a threat both on the feet and on the mat. If Moises can control the centre of the Octagon, he wins this fight, and that is why I am shocked to see him as the underdog. Hernandez’s key to victory is to get Moises to fight on the back foot and to work from the clinch. I just don’t see him being able to do that as Moises’ explosive striking and silky jiu jitsu should be too much for the American.
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