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UFC 197 “Prelim Spotlight”: Pettis vs Kelades Breakdown

Dan Tom




Sergio Pettis (12-2)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 22 Weight: 125 lbs Reach: 69.5″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Chris Cariaso (10-3-15)
  • Camp: Roufusport (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   RFA Flyweight Title
+   Black Belt Tae Kwon Do
+   Blue Belt BJJ
+   3 KO victories
+   3 Submission wins
+   3 First round finishes
+   Solid footwork
^   Switches stances well
+   Accurate jab-cross
^   Excellent pulls & returns
+   Dangerous right head kicks
^   Strikes well off the break
–    Hurt/dropped in 3 of last 5 fights
+   Active guard game
^   Good wrest controls
–    Lacks getup/scramble urgency
+/-Propensity to fight from back


Chris Kelades (9-2)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’7″ Age: 35 Weight: 125 lbs Reach: 68″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Chris Beal (8-23-15)
  • Camp: Fit Plus/American Top Team (Canada)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Purple Belt BJJ
+   2 KO victories
+   3 Submission wins
+   4 second round finishes
+   Fight Camps at ATT
+   Aggressive pace & pressure
^   Consistent cardio & conditioning
+   Improved striking
+   Relentless takedown entries
+   Intelligent scrambler
^   Solid transition game
+   Active from bottom
^   Crafty guard game
–    Takedown susceptibility
–    Suspect strike retraction
^   Counter availabilities
+   Durability & heart


Serving as the preliminary headliner on FOX Sports 1, Sergio Pettis meets Chris Kelades in an exciting flyweight affair. Carrying a last name that is synonymous with his older brother, Sergio Pettis is steadily carving a path of his own. Dealing with developmental trials that most young fighters experience, Sergio’s potential & growth remain a strong narrative in this budding fighters career. With another tough test ahead of Pettis, he will need to show a strong and complete game as he collides with Chris Kelades.

A tough Canadian with a solid grappling base, Chris Kelades has seemingly made a career resurgence when most lighter-weight fighters start to demonstrate declines. Possessing a non-stop pace and durability to boot, the scrappy Kelades has a style that seems to stifle superior fighters and a heart that earns him fans as well as late rounds. With an unwritten moniker of no easy fights in the UFC, Kelades will now be tasked with his fourth straight prospect that is 10-years his junior.

Starting off on the feet, I expect Pettis to have the speed & technique advantage. Although Kelades has shown to make strides in his striking since moving shop to American Top Team, his aggression and sometimes suspect strike retraction leaves the Canadian open for counters. Against an accurate counter striker like Pettis, Chris will have to be mindful whenever entering space.

I believe the key factor in this fight will be each fighters approach to distance management. As seen in Sergio’s previous fights, the young phenom does exceptionally well when allowed the space and comfort to operate. Demonstrating improved applications of stance-switching footwork, Pettis particularly shines in his precision on pulling & returning.

What was surprising upon reviewing Sergio’s UFC career, was that the majority of his opposition spent most of their rounds allowing the fight to take place where Pettis is most comfortable. Both grappling & striking based fighters showed success in ground exchanges with Sergio but failed to continue to push the fight into those terms. That said, Pettis will now face one of the most relentless grapplers in the division.

Although he is surprisingly unsuccessful in his on-paper takedown attempts, the never-say-die attitude of Kelades seemingly & consistently finds a way to get fights to the floor. Even when experiencing said failed shots, Chris does an intelligent job of parlaying these engagements into his favor by immediately working for reversals and sweeps(Nogueira most notably used this method during his run in Pride, where he would use failed double-legs to dive into half-guard and get going from there).

Although I give Kelades an edge in ground fighting, Sergio is no slouch on the floor. Utilizing fantastic leg dexterity, Pettis displays an active and attacking guard. As far as ground defense goes, Sergio does a great job at hand and grip fighting, which is a highly underrated aspect of grappling. That said, the young phenom shows a surprising lack of urgency in the scramble. Even when he is controlling positions against a striker like Chris Cariaso, we saw Sergio swept as he succeeded to the bottom with little attempt to stand for the rounds remainder.

A coach once told me that scrambles win fights, and in MMA, that is especially applicable to the lighter divisions. Diligently working with Izzy-Style Wrestling, and even spending a short stint at Jackson-Wink MMA, I am sure Sergio is making the necessary efforts & improvements to his game. That said, the takedown defense and transitional IQ of Pettis will certainly be put to the task here. Unlike his previous opponents, Kelades possesses consistent pressure fighting that could be the variable in potentially unwinding Sergio’s on-paper advantages.

With durability and a non-stop pace being a common thread for upset performances, I suspect we may see similar intangibles come to life in this matchup. Although I recommend caution in playing the deserved favorite, this crossroads fight should be all action and well worth your time.

Official Pick: Kelades – Decision

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • Kelades def. Pettis
  • Roberts def. Steele
  • Lima def. Esparza
  • Vick def. Franca
  • East def. Harris
  • Hester def. De Lima
  • Lee def. Escudero

For the complete analysis of future & past UFC events visit and for future breakdowns & your latest in world-wide MMA news, stay tuned & follow @MMALatestnws

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*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results



The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.

An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.

The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.

UFC Winnipeg Official Results:


  • #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
  • #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
    • Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
  • #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45  round 1


  • #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
  • Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
  • Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
  • John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2


  • Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
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Fight Announcements

Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando



The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.

It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.

Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.

In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.

Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.

In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.

UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

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Fight Announcements

Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem



Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.

Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.

First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)

Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.

Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.

Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.

In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.

UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira

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