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UFC Fight Pass Spotlight: Felder vs Cruickshank Breakdown

Dan Tom

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Felder2

Paul Felder (10-2)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 30 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 70.5″
  • Last Fight: Decision loss / Ross Pearson (9-5-15)
  • Camp: Renzo Gracie/Jackson-Wink MMA (Philly)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   2nd Degree Black Belt Tae Kwon Do
+   Blue Belt BJJ
+   7 KO victories
+   2 first round finishes
+   KO power
+   Solid butterfly guard
^   Retains guard-scrambles-gets up
+   Diverse striking arsenal
^   Accurate spinning attacks
+   Dangerous knees
+   Underrated TD defense
–    Lacks in-fight adjustments
+   Solid chin/Physically durable

 

UFC Fight Night: Koch v Cruickshank

Daron Cruickshank(16-7)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’8″ Age: 30 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 72″
  • Last Fight: Submission loss / James Krause (7-25-15)
  • Camp: Michigan Top Team (Detroit)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   Black Belt Tae Kwon Do
+   TUF 15 Alum
+   9 KO victories
+   7 first round finishes
+   Div. 3 Collegiate Wrestler
+   KO power
+   Fast switch kicks
^   Deceptive off combinations
+   Underrated wrestling transitions
^   Favors single-legs
?    Questionable submission defense
–    Often retreats/reverts to cage
^   Fights with back to fence

Summary:

Serving as Boston’s Fight Pass Headliner, we’re treated to a promising bout of Strikers as Paul Felder squares off against Daron Cruickshank. With both men on two-fight losing skids, expect a pressure cooker environment as each man’s roster spot may be at stake. These types of factors can sometimes produce uncharacteristically safe or slow fights, but of course, my analysis will be based upon in cage evidence as I expect both men to demonstrate why the matchmakers love them.

With both fighters coming from traditional martial arts backgrounds, they translate their styles very differently into their MMA games. The hard-hitting Felder, for example, takes more of an upright stance as he’ll embrace kickboxing defenses with classic “Thai-Marching” to stalk offensively. The most impressive part of Paul’s striking amalgamation is that he’s still able to accurately & effectively fire-off his traditional arsenal (spinning attacks, etc.) from a defensively sound Muay Thai stance. Felder’s said stylings mixed with his aggression may be his best tools against Daron.

Cruickshank, on the other hand, shows to keep a bit more loyal to his Tae Kown Do background as he’ll employ a wide stance. Like many kick based strikers, Daron requires a lot of space to effectively operate. As opponents have slowly but surely caught onto this, we’ve subsequently seen Cruickshank forced to fight along the outside to get his breathing room. Despite this, Daron has shown the ability to kick & counter moving backward, as well as improved punch flurries forward to make space. Although possessing a fast lead switch-kick himself (a kick Edson Barboza used well against Paul), I feel Cruickshanks speed advantage may serve him in the punching department as well.

We saw in Felder’s last fight against Ross Pearson, that technical boxing & speed could disrupt the Irish Dragon’s rhythm. That said, Cruickshank fights in a completely different style than Pearson, nor does he show an emphasis to throw or set up a left hook (a punch that’s found the most success on Felder). I feel the key factor to a Cruickshank victory will rely on his effectiveness in changing gears. Welding an underrated wrestling game, Daron could potentially mix in takedowns to win rounds, or at the very least stifle the offense of Felder.

However, Paul shows an underrated bottom game where he’ll effectively use Butterflies to retain guard and get up. This, plus his excellent takedown defense leads me to believe this match will be decided standing. Not to mention Cruickshank favors a Single-leg takedown style that may have limited availability given Felder’s narrow marching stance. Daron will also have to be careful when reaching low for these attempts (as he’ll often revert to in clinch situations), as Paul possesses accurate & deadly knees. Ultimately, I see the stalking pressure of Felder walking down Cruickshank and inevitably paying off.

Official Pick: Felder – Decision

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • Saunders def. Cote
  • Wade def. Baghdad
  • Herman def. Boetsch
  • Blanco def. Sanders
  • Felder def. Cruickshank
  • Latifi def. O’Connell
  • Rosa def. Mendes
  • Font def. Gomez
  • Mutapcic def. Barroso

Recommended Plays

Pieces for your parlay:

-Anthony Pettis
-Paul Felder
-Chris Wade

Props worth looking at:

-Anthony Pettis – Inside the distance
-Matt Mitrione – by KO/TKO
-Paul Felder – by Decision

Fights to avoid:

-Ross Pearson vs Francisco Trinaldo
-Rob Font vs Joey Gomez
-Ilir Latifi vs Sean O’Connell

Fantasy MMA Picks

High Tier Picks:

-TJ Dillashaw
-Anthony Pettis
-Maximo Blanco

Low Tier Picks:

-Dominic Cruz
-Matt Mitrione
-Francisco Trinaldo

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

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News

Stephen Thompson wants Rafael dos Anjos in contender eliminator bout

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Over the weekend, Rafael dos Anjos defeated Robbie Lawler at UFC Fight Night: Winnipeg, in dominant fashion via unanimous decision. The main event of the Canadian event was Dos Anjos’ third victory in as many fights at welterweight. The former UFC lightweight champion moved up in weight after suffering two consecutive losses. First, relinquishing his championship title to Eddie Alvarez, then falling to current interim lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson. Although the Brazilian had fought at the 155-pound weight limit exclusively in his career, his weight cut in order to reach the lightweight limit is admittedly brutal.

When talking with FloCombat, the top welterweight contender claimed, “It is not worth it [the weight cut] considering the amount I’m earning today. This was one of my motivations to change to welterweight. I don’t need to kill myself and earn this salary.” He further explained the agony of making the weight limit, “I want to avoid those last 15 pounds. That is terror and panic. It’s almost death. I don’t need to face that anymore. I want to fight well and happy, get in there strong and in good shape”.

Now that Dos Anjos has arrived at welterweight with such success, he believes he deserves a shot at Tyron Woodley and the 170-pound belt.

This is a sentiment that UFC president Dana White seems to agree with. At the Toronto press conference, White fielded a question on whether or not the winner of the Lawler vs. Dos Anjos match-up would yield a title contender, “Yup,” he responded. Later in the press event, White further clarified Dos Anjos’ position in the welterweight ranks, “(RDA) just had a great win to get himself back into contention and a win over Robbie Lawler obviously would do it”.

Yet, another top-ranked welterweight does not agree. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson wants a third crack at welterweight gold, and he believes Dos Anjos is his ticket back to title contention.

What makes this challenge intriguing? The status of current welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley. Last week, Woodley announced on his TMZ show, The Hollywood Beatdown, he would be having surgery. The champion stated, “I’m going to go ahead and get this shoulder repaired. I’ve been saying, ‘You know what, I don’t want to get it cut on, I don’t want to get it repaired.’ But if there’s no fight that really makes a ton of sense for me to take the risk, to not be 100 percent with my shoulder, then I’m going to go ahead and have it repaired. They’re not going to do a full orthopedic rehabilitation, but they’re going to do a scope and they’re going to anchor down some sides. Then I’m going to get some PRP (platelet-rich plasma), some stem cells.” A timetable for his return is not readily available.

As the division stands, the truly deserving of the next welterweight title shot would be either Thompson or Dos Anjos. The recent credentials of both garner such status. Thompson most recently defeated rising contender, Jorge Masvidal at UFC 217. Before his early November victory over Masvidal, the undefeated kick-boxer challenged for the belt twice, consecutively. While he was unsuccessful in both attempts to earn the belt, each fight was extremely close. The first of which, scored a majority draw.

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Events

*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results

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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:

MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • #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

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT

  • #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

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT

  • 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

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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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