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UFC Fight Night 79: Henderson vs Masvidal Breakdown

Dan Tom

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Benson6

Benson Henderson (22-5)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’9″ Age: 32 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 70″
  • Last Fight: Submission win / Brandon Thatch (2-14-15)
  • Camp: The MMA Lab (Arizona)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good
  • Overall Fight Grade: A-

Supplemental info:
+   Former UFC LW Champion
+   Former WEC LW Champion
+   2x NAIA All-American Wrestler
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   Black Belt Tae Kwon Do
+   6 first round finishes
+   8 Submission wins
+   Creative reactive striking
+   Excellent leg dexterity
+   Active & effective striking
+   Stays busy in clinch
+   Manages distance well
+   Variates attack looks
^   Especially w/leg kicks
+   Improved head-movement
–    Struggles w/volume & pressure
–    Open when exiting range

Masvidal6

Jorge Masvidal (29-9)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’11” Age: 31 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 73″
  • Last Fight: KO win / Cezar Ferreira (7-12-15)
  • Camp: American Top Team (Florida)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good
  • Overall Fight Grade: B+

Supplemental info:
+   Former AFC WW Champion
+   Solid Fight Experience (2003)
+   11 KO victories
+   6 first round finishes
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Accurate shot selection
+   Solide base & balance
^   Rarely out of position
+   83% TD defense
+   Underrated submission game
+   Improved counter-wrestling
+   Good knees in close
+   Excellent get up ability
+/-Shell defense
^   Body/right hand openings
–    Lacks leg kick defense
–    Susceptible to coasting

Summary:

Seoul’s main event is set to be a showcase of high-level MMA as newly minted Welterweights Jorge Masvidal and Benson Henderson do battle. With both fighters being well-rounded veterans, this technical stand-off has hardcores salivating as we’ll potentially get a peek of what top shelf MMA can look like. Originally slated to face Thiago Alves, Benson’s new opponent won’t be on short notice as Masvidal was originally booked for this card(against Kim who’s also a Southpaw).

On the feet, I strongly feel distance management will be the name of the game as Jorge will try to find his range while Ben attempts to manage it. Luckily for Henderson this is something he’s made a career off of as he’s edged out many strikers & scorecards with his stylings. Generally circling just outside of range(and usually along the black inner-octagon lines) is where Henderson calls home as he’ll explode into counter attacks and reset to this space. His main tool to manage & check range is his kicks, something I suspect Ben will lean heavily on given Jorge’s defenses.

Though renown & respected for his striking skills, one of Masvidal’s few technical flaws is his reluctancy to check kicks. This could play a big factor in this fight given the variety & effectiveness of Henderson’s leg kicks. Variating his techniques & targets, Ben will go from inside-to-outside as he attacks thighs, calfs, and even the rear leg given his opponents stance. Henderson’s left body kicks & right side-kicks could also have play with Jorge’s natural inclination for a shell defense. Ben will still have be very mindful while throwing these as Masvidal show’s the ability to catch kicks and counter(Something he could use to get an offensive angle or even behind Ben).

Though Jorge is often pressuring forward, he’s ultimately a counter fighter as he looks read and react to his opposition. Though I stated Henderson’s advantage at distance, it’s the mid-to-pocket range where Masvidal makes his money and should have the advantage here. Look for Henderson to safely navigate these waters with his classic hard slip to the right(his orthodox opposition’s left/weak side) as he comes back into play with a right body hook-left hand follow up. Though only facing one Southpaw in the UFC(Tim Means) Masvidal showed excellent “outside-foot awareness” and should not make things comfortable for Henderson.

Masvidal’s biggest threat in this fight is his counter punching abilities(especially off clinch-breaks or exiting exchanges) as that will be his best chances against Benson in particular. Henderson will sometimes(especially when throwing his left hand) put himself out of position and off balance. In doing so, this will cause him to counter balance himself as he’ll use his(sometimes wild) head-movement off strikes to reset. The problem with this is that he’ll occasionally reset right back into a dangerous range, as we saw him burned by this in his Dos Anjos fight. Henderson will most likely dictate the striking distance by playing all-the-way out, or all-the-way in.

That brings us to clinch space, which I feel is a Key Factor in who wins this fight. With Masvidal’s dangerous inside elbows & knees, expect Ben to employ his strong & savvy clinch game as he’ll use his entire body in syncronisity to operate. Using his leg dexterity to strike or assist take-downs, he favors grounding opposition from the body lock. Ben will likely have trouble(at least early) getting Masvidal down who has solid take-down defense at 83%. Not to mention Masvidal’s underrated counter-wrestling and transition game, which can really make the ground exchanges fun should Jorge keep pace.

The pace however, is where this fun road begins to split for me. Masvidal has shown to coast & conserve energy in previous bouts, and though crediting this to extreme weight cuts(something he avoids at Welterweight), he’s still shown some inconsistency overall. Benson on the other hand, has excellent conditioning and an experienced know-how on winning 5 round affairs. As a fan of Masvidal, I’m happy to see him finally get a big fight as he more than has the tools to beat the former Champion. But I ultimately see Henderson’s distance game frustrating Masvidal to be the most likely outcome. I hope this fight will visit all the terrains of MMA as this is a match up where both men can shine technically and send us off satisfied.

Official Pick: Henderson – Decision

Dong2

Dong Hyun Kim (20-3-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’1″ Age: 34 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 76″
  • Last Fight: Submission win / Josh Burkman (5-22-15)
  • Camp: Busan Team M.A.D. (Korea)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Boxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: B-

Supplemental info:
+   Judo Black Belt 4th dan
+   Multiple Judo Titles
+   Grappling Accolades
+   8 KO victories
+   3 first round finishes
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Strong in clinch
^   Trips/Body-lock TD’s
+   82% TD defense
–    Hands low
+   Aggressive pace
–    Throws-self out of position
^   Counter availabilities
+   Excellent Top Game
^   Solid Technical Pressure
+/-Willingness to exchange

Waters3

Dominic Waters (9-3)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’1″ Age: 26 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 79″
  • Last Fight: Decision loss / George Sullivan (7-12-15)
  • Camp: Jackson-Wink MMA (New Mexico)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: D+

Supplemental info:
+   TUF 16 Alum
+   Wrestling Base
+   Pankration Accolades
+   Purple Belt BJJ
+   2 first round finishes
+   3 KO victories
+/-Short notice match
+   Solid cage pressure
+   Good Double-leg TD
^   Times opponent coming in
–    Head high & upright
^   Lowers in exchanges
–    Lacks overall activity
–    Ineffective off bottom
–    Fades as fight goes
+   Shows to be durable

Summary:

In a maincard that’s been played like “Musical Chairs”, Dong Hyun Kim draws Dominic Waters as his dance partner. Returning to fight in his home country of Korea, expect Kim to try and make a statement against his late replacement. Though Dominic is no stranger to late notice fights, He’ll be stepping up to another level as he attempts to spoil Kim’s homecoming.

Starting off on the feet, Dominic shows a fairly basic striking arsenal as he primarily will look to set up his Double-leg. Overall lacking in speed, volume, and aggression, Waters will use his opponents forward pressure to change levels for a shot. He’ll have to mind Kim’s power punching as Dominic shows to keep his head upright(opening up overhands) and dipping it low in exchanges(exposing him to uppercuts).

Though Kim has similar defensive issues of his own, his pressure, volume, and experience should more than make the difference. Unless Waters can score his double and get on top, he shows to struggle and fade in fights. Given Kim’s on paper 88% TD defense to his in-fight technical grappling, it doesn’t look promising for Dominic.

Especially if Waters ends up on his back(as he shows reversal susceptibilities), his inactivity could lead to his first stoppage loss should he allow the Korean to dictate. I’m not trying to disrespect Dominic Waters chances as he’s a hard worker with a good camp(Jackson-Wink), I just feel it’s a bad match up skills gap aside. That said, Kim would be a solid choice even for his price in Fantasy MMA.

Official Pick: Kim – Inside the distance

Sexyyamma4

Yoshihiro Akiyama (14-5-2))

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 40 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 75″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Amir Sadollah (9-20-14)
  • Camp: Jackson-Wink MMA (Japan)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate
  • Overall Fight Grade: C

Supplemental info:
+   Judo Black Belt
+   Multiple Judo Accolades
+   7 Submission wins
+   5 KO victories
+   10 first round finishes
+   95% TD defense
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Accurate right hand
–    1 fight in 3 years
+   Good check/L. hook
+   Strong in clinch
^   Solid Trips & TD’s
+   Good get-up ability
+   Durable chin
–    Lacks adjustments
+/-Propensity to brawl

Mina1

Alberto Mina (11-0)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 33 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 77.5″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Shinsho Anzai (8-23-14)
  • Camp: Epic MMA (Hong Kong)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair/li>
  • Overall Fight Grade: C+

Supplemental info:
+   Judo Black Belt
+   BJJ Black Belt
+   Multiple Grappling Accolades
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   9 first round finishes
+   6 Submission wins
+   5 KO victories
+   Dangerous Kimura/figure-4 grip
^   Aggressive armbar set-ups
+   This camp at Kings MMA
+   Improved boxing
–    Head high off strikes
^   Counter-shot availability
–    Leans/slips heavily right
+   Level changes to Double-leg
+/-Gets hit/recovers well

Summary:

In another potential fight of the night, Yoshihiro “Sexyyama” Akiyama faces Alberto Mina in his return to Korea. With only one fight in the last 3 years, Akiyama’s inactivity will be the intangible coming in. Usually teaching & training around the world, Alberto Mina has spent this camp at Kings MMA in effort to improve his striking and overall game.

Traditionally, Mina will come out circling looking to range find with kicks. Though possessing improved hands and deceptive power, it’s coming off his punches where he’s most vulnerable. Often throwing himself out of position, Alberto’s head will keep high opening him up to counter strikes. This is where Akiyama will have his best chances to win this fight or at least sway it’s momentum.

Despite his strong Judo base, Akiyama has made his money striking in this latter-half of his career. His counter right is his most dangerous & accurate punch that should have plenty of play if Mina hasn’t shored up his defenses. Alberto also shows a tendency to lean/slip heavily to his right, and though Akiyama doesn’t show much switch-kicking, he bares a solid left hook.

The intangibles of Mina’s striking progress aside, his best chances will be getting this to the floor. There the BJJ Champion can create havoc with his relentless chains of submission attacks. The problem with that scenario is that I’m not sure that Alberto will be able to get Yoshihiro down.

Despite Mina’s Judo background and improved Double-legs, Akiyama boasts a 95% take-down defense rate in 21 fights.Even Jake Sheilds struggled for his lone take-down that came at the tail end of 3 rounds and roughly twenty attempts. Alberto Mina has the tools to win and arguably the intangibles in his favor. But in looking at actual in-fight stylings, it’s hard not to side with Korea’s “Sexyyama”.

Official Pick: Akiyama – Decision

Sam4

Sam Sicilia (15-5)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’8″ Age: 29 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 67″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Yaotzin Meza (7-15-15)
  • Camp: Sikjitsu (Spokane, WA)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Boxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: C

Supplemental info:
+   TUF 15 Alum
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   8 KO victories
+   10 first round finishes
+   4 Submission wins
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Dangerous right hand
^   Leans heavily on it
+   Aggressive pressure
+   Improved wrestling
+   Strong top game
^   Effective ground strikes
–    Hands low standing
–    Head high in exchanges
^   Often leading on entry
–    R. hand/Counter availabilities

Choi2

Doo Ho Choi(12-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’9″ Age: 24 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 70″
  • Last Fight: KO win / Juan Manuel Puig (11-22-14)
  • Camp: GUMI MMA (Korea)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: B-

Supplemental info:
+   9 KO victories
+   6 first round finishes
+   10 fight win streak
+/-1 fight in over 2 years
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Deceptive hand & foot speed
+   Strong & efficient hips
–    Clinch/counter grappling availabilities
+   Scrambles/gets up well
+   Good transitional ground game
^   Chains submissions well
+   Excellent timing on knees
+   Good TD defense in open
+   Excellent overall timing
^   Intercepts/counter punches
+/-Willingness to exchange

Summary:

Kick-starting the main card is potential fireworks as Sam Sicilia is tasked with testing Korean prospect Doo Ho Choi. With almost one year since his last fight, it will be interesting to see what form the young Korean prospect returns at. Should Choi have not added any new tools to his game, his pre-existing ones could still prove trouble to the stylings of Sicilia.

Sam will utilize an aggressive pressure style to draw out brawls on his terms. Favoring his right hand in particular, Sicilia wields KO power that makes him dangerous against anyone at Featherweight. However, this aggressive nature comes at a cost as Sam keeps his hands low and head high in exchanges. This leaves him susceptible to counter shots(particularly right hands) that will be costly against a striker like Doo Ho.

Standing offensively squared to oppsition while staying light on his toes, Choi positions himself in a constant state of offensive/counter-offensive readiness. With an ability to reel-off quick kicks, it’s Choi’s punches that should serve him best against Sam. Utilizing feints, Doo Ho will draw out opponents reactions and counter strikes. He’ll use these opprotunities to off-set his opponents timing as he’ll intercept them coming in with beautifully accurate jab-crosses.

I see this in particular being effective in this fight should Sicilia stay at range. Sam’s best shot is making this an ugly & grinding affair by testing the prospect in-close and on the floor. Sicilia is very physically persuasive in the clinch and should he get on top, he shows a solid positional game that could cause Choi problems.

However, entering the clinch space to begin with posses it’s own dangers as Sam tends to lead his entries with his head down and forward. If Sam doesn’t mind this he’ll put himself right in line with Choi’s deadly knees. Owning multiple KO’s via this method, Choi’s excellent timing & feints come to fruition as he masterfully will misdirect and catch opponents here(Not to mention his shown TD defense & good balance against previous legitimate threats).

Should Sam ground the Korean, it may still be an uphill battle given Choi’s transitional grappling where he chains submission attacks into scrambles back to his feet. Though showing a good chin, it’s Choi’s willingness to brawl that could burn him here. Sicilia’s raw power keeps him a live-dog in any fight, and if Choi get’s overconfident it could potentially cost him. With that said, We should be in for a big bang either way, But I suspect Asia’s most promising talent to make a statement here.

 

Official Pick: Choi – Inside the distance

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • Dongi Yang def. Jake Collier
  • Yui Chul Nam def. Mke De La Torre
  • Tae Hyun Bang def. Leo Kuntz
  • Cortney Casey def. Seo Hee Ham
  • Yao Zhikui def. Fredy Serrano
  • Ning Guangyou def. Marco Beltran
  • Dominique Steele def. Dong Hyun Kim

Recommended Plays

Fantasy MMA Picks

High Tier Picks:

-Doo Ho Choi
-Dong Hyun Kim
-Benson Henderson

Low Tier Picks:

-Mike De La Torre
-Dongi Yang
-Alberto Mina

Pieces for your parlay:

-Doo Ho Choi
-Tae Hyun Bang
-Benson Henderson

Props worth looking at:

-Doo Ho Choi – by KO/TKO
-Dong Hyun Kim – Inside the distance

Fights to avoid:

-Yui Chul Nam vs Mike De La Torre
-Jake Collier vs Dongi Yang
-Sexyyama vs Alberto Mina

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

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News

*WATCH* DaveNoseMMA – Aljamain Sterling Knockout Aftermath

Harry Davies

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In this video, MMA Latest’s Dave Noseworthy shares his thoughts on Marlon Moraes’ brutal knockout of Aljamain Sterling that took place this past weekend at UFC Fresno.

Check out Dave’s thoughts below:

 

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Fight Announcements

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220

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UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)

Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:

“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.

The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.

If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.

Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.

UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.

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Events

Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview

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Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.

LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.

Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.

Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)

The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.

In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.

Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.

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