Sean Strickland (17-1)
- Height: 6’1″ Age: 25 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 76″
- Last Fight: TKO win / Alex Garcia (2-21-16)
- Camp: Millenia MMA/Team Quest (California)
- Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
- Risk Management: Moderate
+ King Of The Cage MW Title
+ Brown Belt BJJ
+ 8 KO victories
+ 4 Submission wins
+ 9 first round finishes
+ Consistent pace & volume
+ Good distance management
^ Deceptively dictates range
+ Excellent jab
^ Accurate / stays long
+ Underrated wrestling ability
^ Improved takedown entries
+ Fundamentally sound top game
– Head often upright
^ Overhand/counter opportunities
Tom Breese (10-0)
- Height: 6’3″ Age: 25 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 73.5″
- Last Fight: Decision win / Keita Nakamura (2-27-16)
- Camp: Tristar Gym (Canada/UK)
- Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
- Risk Management: Moderate
+ BAMMA Welterweight Title
+ Brown Belt BJJ
+ 3 KO victories
+ 6 Submission wins
+ 6 first round finishes
+ Continual striking improvements
+ Effective straight puncher
^ Long & accurate jab-cross
+ Hard kicks from the left side
+ Strong over-hooks inside clinch
^ Looks for knees & trips
+ Solid transitional grappler
^ Uses leg-locks to scramble
+ Dangerous guard game
^ Superb hip & leg dexterity
– Sometimes struggles against the fence
Serving as the headliner for UFC Fight Pass is a tightly contested matchup at welterweight, as Sean Strickland welcomes the undefeated prospect Tom Breese into his backyard. Breese is coming off a hard-fought victory over Keita Nakamura earlier this year, where we saw Tom taken out of his element early and tested. Continuing his training with Tristar gym in Canada, Breese will look to make up for his past performance with an impressive showing here. Set to play the spoiler is Sean Strickland, who is coming off his most impressive win yet as he stopped Alex Garcia earlier this year. Looking to keep the momentum for his camp Millenia MMA, Strickland will attempt to take out another Tristar-trained fighter.
In what is the tightest matchup on paper, I feel this bout between two patient fighters may come down to who can shift gears first. Strickland is more of the counter fighter as he will consistently circle while actively striking & stifling with his jab. Usually having a length advantage over his opposition, this method allows Sean to force striking exchanges onto his terms. Although Tom is two inches taller, Strickland should be the longer fighter in regards to reach and frame.
If Sean can establish his jab first, we may see him stifle Tom and sway the momentum of this fight. However, we have seldom seen Strickland strike against southpaws as his outside foot awareness will be crucial in this contest. A technically sound southpaw, Breese has consistently made fight-to-fight improvements in his standing tools. Working behind a stiff jab of his own, Tom will stalk forward with feints to draw out his opposition’s attack.
With both men traditionally looking to counter, it will be interesting to see who can successfully create and capitalize on the chaos of exchanges. Although both men are more than capable of taking the other out, I give Breese the advantage standing as his stalking style scores well with judges and his defenses are much more fundamentally sound. Strickland tends to keep overly upright in his approach, as we have seen this cost him in exchanges with seasoned strikers like Santiago Ponzinibbio & Luke Barnatt.
I imagine this matchup will touch the mat on multiple occasions, which will likely make wrestling a key factor amongst two talented Brazilian Jiu-jitsu brown belts. Despite Breese being the more accoladed grappler with a wider range tools, I feel Strickland can pose some serious problems for Tom should he get topside. Although Breese bears a base in freestyle wrestling, the Englishman prefers to operate from the clinch as he emphasizes strong over-hooks to open up his knees and trip takedowns.
However, we saw in his last fight against Nakamura that his comfort inside the clinch can be used against him if turned to the cage. With over-hooks naturally giving way to the body-lock, Strickland could use these opportunities to his favor, especially since the fence area is Sean’s preferred space to attempt takedowns. Showing no fear in being grounded, Breese will parlay his over-hooks immediately into his guard game. Displaying superb hip & leg dexterity, Tom puts his long frame to good use on the floor as he will constantly chain submissions attempts into scramble opportunities.
Tom will need to be sharper than a sword to keep his edge and cannot afford any lackadaisical lulls in transition. Sean Strickland is a very underrated grappler who demonstrates a sound positional game as he is consistently active with pressure. Most importantly, Strickland displays an excellent ability to posture just outside of his opponents reach as he rains down shots from the top. Sean awareness of posture may shut down the over-hook based game of Breese and force him to work in a way favorable to Strickland.
With takedown agenda’s being this fights key intangibles, I feel the man on top should have a stylistic & scorecard advantage. It will be interesting to see both fighter’s game plans as this will be another opportunity for each camp to crack the proverbial code. Although I am siding with Breese’s technical prowess to get it done, I would not be surprised at all to see Strickland’s criminally underrated skill set steal the momentum of this fight. With this being the closest fight on paper and the hardest to breakdown on the card, I preach caution in plays as I instead encourage you sit back and enjoy this prospect showdown on Fight Pass.
Official Pick: Breese – Decision
Preliminary Card Predictions
- Ortega def. Guida
- Dariush def. Vick
- Penne def. Andrade
- Miller def. Caceres
- Breese def. Strickland
- Wilson def. Da Silva
- Mutapcic def. Casey
- Kim def. Reyes
GSP vs Robert Whittaker is Easily the Best Fight to Make at Middleweight
GSP became the new middleweight champion of the UFC this past weekend, and many questions have been asked his way. Is he officially the greatest of all time? Who does he fight next? Does he stay at middleweight?
The G.O.A.T. conversation will never be settled completely. There will always be separation in opinions between Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, GSP, Demetrious Johnson, Fedor Emelianenko, and some even say Conor McGregor is the greatest, simply due to the fact that he is the first ever UFC champion to hold two belts simultaneously. Regardless of how that conversation is driven, the biggest question that should be the only concern at this point is the immediate plans for the new middleweight champion.
Where does GSP go next, and who does he fight?
Well, the fact of the matter is, it would not make sense for GSP to go down to the welterweight division again. 170-pounds is alive and kicking at the moment, with new stars emerging such as Darren Till and Mike Perry, to return of veterans like Carlos Condit, and also new additions to the division like Rafael dos Anjos. St-Pierre would have to stay extremely active in order to keep the division flowing.
At the age of 36 and having just returned to MMA last weekend, St-Pierre is unlikely to stay as active as he used to be when he was the king of the welterweight division. Plus, would it really make much sense for him to get on his old diet again in order to make the welterweight weight limit? He looked massive last night, all bulked up, and even seemed like the bigger fighter against Bisping, who used to fight at 205-pounds.
On the other hand, if he decides to stay at middleweight, which is what UFC president Dana White stated would happen yesterday, then there is one clear path for him to take and based on his statements on his contract, will be forced to take: Robert Whittaker.
Whittaker won the interim middleweight belt earlier this year against Yoel Romero at UFC 213, which was a razor close fight that went to Whittaker at the end of 5 rounds. Since then, Whittaker has been sidelined due to the injury he suffered during the fight, damaging his ligament in the left knee.
4 months later, he has seemed to have healed up perfectly, as he was in the arena for the madness last night and even answered a few questions from the media, stating that he is healthy now. The fight against Whittaker would be the best that the UFC could put on at this point in 185-pounds division on a few different levels.
GSP and Whittaker have a lot in common. Starting with the most obvious, they both used to fight at welterweight. Which means that neither fighter will have a massive size advantage. This brings the match up nearly even as far as physicality is concerned.
Then comes the match up itself. St-Pierre and Whittaker both represent the very definition of being ‘well-rounded’. Whittaker, although not an offensive wrestler, proved that his defensive wrestling was second to none in his fight against Romero, a former Olympic wrestler. And while GSP is not necessarily the best wrestler in pure wrestling, his ability to wrestle in MMA is phenomenal due to his timing and fight IQ, which makes this fight even more intriguing to find out whether Whittaker can defend GSP’s takedown attempts.
This fight also represents the UFC an opportunity to see a birth of a superstar. Whittaker, while not a huge talker, is a very marketable fighter especially over in Australia and New Zealand. If he is able to defeat GSP, who’s arguably the biggest draw in the history of the company, it would boost Whittaker’s popularity up an extraordinary amount. And being only 26 years old, Whittaker has the tools and potential to be a dominant champion, much like St-Pierre in his “prime”.
Booking this fight would also clear up the confusing state of the middleweight division. With Bisping’s reign as the champion coming to an end, some hope was born for other contenders in the division. Fighters like Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman, Yoel Romero, Jacare Souza were having an extremely hard time getting a hold of Michael Bisping during his reign, and with a new champion now and possible unification of the belts soon, the contenders will have a goal to work for again.
The fight is one of the best fights that UFC could put on for the fans right now and one that can happen as early as February of 2018, which is when the UFC returns to Australia with a PPV. If it can come to fruition, then it will easily be one of the best fights of the year and one that all the fans can count the days down to.
UFC 217: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Rose Namajunas Preview
UFC 217 is hoping to explode Madison Square Garden with a stacked card featuring three title fights.
One of the three title fights, is a bout between women’s strawweight champion, undefeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0-0) and rising star #4-ranked Rose Namajunas (7-3-0).
What we have here is a fight between an aggressive, clinical technician in Joanna, and an unpredictable, well rounded submission artist in Rose.
Joanna is regarded as (out of both male & female fighters) one of the best strikers in the UFC. Undefeated in both kickboxing & MMA with her calculated method of increasing the pace and volume as the rounds go by until what looked like a fight starts to look close to assault & battery.
With Vegas odds having Joanna as -600 to Rose’s +400 there is no secret that Joanna is highly favoured to win. One can get a clearer picture to why this is by looking at some of her records..
- Has never lost a professional MMA fight
- Most sig. strikes landed in a UFC Title Fight
- 2nd most sig. strikes landed in a UFC fight
- Most legs kicks landed in a UFC fight
- – List Info pulled from MMAJunkie –
Rose began her UFC career since the weight classes’ inception into the ranks, in the TUF house. Winning all her fights by stoppage, but coming up short against Carla Esparza for the inaugural women’s strawweight championship. Rose went back to the drawing board to reset, improve and come back stronger.
Rose has fought a high level striker from Poland before in Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and lost via split decision on her way to the title. True to Rose’s form however, she came back better, smarter and more dangerous, securing a win over touted UFC prospect Michelle Waterson. Dispatching “The Karate Hottie” with a perfectly timed high kick that she finished off with a rear naked choke in round two.
Rose’s perseverance, will and ability to overcome her career misfortunes & failures as well as personal problems at home, has granted her nothing but success. Her grit & drive is on display every time she fights. Looking sharper, more refined, well rounded and dynamic, achieving the accolade of “Most submission wins in UFC women’s starwweight history.”
Joanna has shown to be beyond dominant and ahead of her competitors, time and time again. So far nobody has found a real weakness in her game or has been able to exploit one if they did. Out striking strikers, out grinding grinders and nullifying grapplers of all types. Yet she has never faced a fighter as well rounded & explosively creative as Rose, who is happy to strike and then throw a flying arm bar from standing, seemingly out of the blue. Uncertainty and on the fly creativity is hard to train for. So, though on paper the favour is for Joanna, the devil is in the details and the details are what make this fight so compelling!
If Rose beats Joanna, she achieves the dream she has sweat, cried and bled for over the past 4 years. It will catapult her to a very different echelon of fighter hierarchy, UFC fame and financial security. She will also have beaten one of only two current UFC Champions who are undefeated in their MMA Career in “JJ”. (Cody Garbrandt, who will fight on the same card in the following match up against TJ Dillashaw, is the other).
If Joanna wins, she will tie Ronda Rousey’s record of most title defenses in women’s UFC History. She will have effectively “cleaned out” the division and from there the she can chose to break Ronda’s record, or go up to the new 125-pound division for a super fight.
A lot to lose, a lot to gain, two super elite competitors, two fighters who are known for giving spectacular performances at a high level, to the bitter end. Despite neither fighter reaching 5″7, & only 115lbs, make no mistake, this fight is Monumentally HUGE! Regardless of the outcome, expect to be entertained.
Khabib vs Barboza UFC 219 breakdown
Khabib vs Barboza has been made official for UFC 219 and it promises to be an absolute cracker, so in this article, I’m going to give a full breakdown of this fantastic fight.
UFC 219 just got a whole lot better with the addition of Khabib vs Barboza to the main card, Khabib will be hungry to grab a victory in his first fight since his submission win over Michael Johnson at UFC 205.
However, UFC fans will be crossing their fingers and hoping that the fight does happen as Khabib has been scheduled to fight in the main event, back in April 2016, but his opponent Ferguson had to pull out of their scheduled main event because doctors had found fluid and blood in his lungs. Khabib also pulled out of there fight at UFC 209 because he was hospitalized trying to cut weight for there highly anticipated bout, which played down his chances at him getting a title shot against McGregor. This fight is a chance for him to once again prove himself to get that title shot. Hopefully, we do not see a repeat of these past scheduled fights for Khabib and hopefully, we can see him back in the octagon for UFC 219.
Now onto Barboza, who is an explosive and aggressive fighter, his last three fights have resulted in three wins for the Brazilian who won his last fight by TKO/KO with his latest loss coming from Ferguson by way of submission at the Ultimate Fighter Finale, back in 2015.
This Brazilian fighter prefers to stand and trade with his opponents and usually outclasses his opponents on the feet, however, most of Barboza’s losses have come by submission, one of those opponents being Michael Johnson (who Khabib beat by submission) so Barboza may want to work on his submission defence and ground game altogether because Khabib is a very dominant fighter who can control the fight and has a strong ground game so he will be looking to take Barboza to the ground.
Barboza needs to try to take control of the fight away from Khabib and keep it stood up to try and outclass Khabib, which will make for a very Interesting bout on December the 30th and many will be tuning in to see how it turns out.
I believe Khabib will walk with the victory over Barboza at UFC 219 in a fight which promises to be exciting and aggressive throughout.
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