UFC Fight Night 64: Just go to sleep
Well, this card won’t be on TV. The event will be one of UFC’s few international events only accessible through their Fight Pass subscription, which costs $9.99 a month. No thank you. Since the card is in Poland and involves several fighters with little to no film available for dissection, this will be a fairly short article with quick breakdowns and predictions. Oh, did I mention that it starts at 11:45 AM Eastern? Yeah. Anyways, cook up some Polish sausages and uh….I dunno. Watch some Joanna Jedrzejczyk videos or something.
After you’re finished reading my breakdown, check out Mayo’s Fight Night 64 video HERE
Taylor Lapilus (-210) vs Rocky Lee (+175)
No, that’s not the Rock Lee of Naruto fame. And no, he’s not an expert in taijutsu. This is one of the fights with little film available to be able to discern either fighter’s skillset and potential. Apparently, Lapilus is a long range striker with good submissions and not much else to go with a brutal take down defense that begs the question of why he is even in the UFC. Rocky Lee did appear in TUF China, only to be manhandled by the eventual winner. There are a few other fights that showcase Rocky Lee’s talents and well….I’m not impressed. He has marginal striking to go with decent wrestling and mediocre grappling so I guess he could take Lapilus down and go to work on the ground. Or just do nothing and get jabbed all day. Your choice.
Lee via Leaf Whirlwind that gets countered by Lapilus’s Rasengan (which means Lapilus by unanimous decision you ungrateful brats!)
Marcin Bandel (+155) vs Stevie Ray (-175)
Marcel Bandel is a wild man. And what I mean by that is he is an aggressive submission seeker, looking to tie up his opponent immediately and then clutching himself to some sort of limb and twisting it, especially his favorite sub in the heel hook. That is what he is very good at. Other aspects of the fight? Not so much. If Bandel can’t get his hands on Stevie Wonder, it will be a short night for him. Stevie Ray is just a decent guy with nothing of note other than he isn’t blind. Oh and he is susceptible to the sub. ME LIKEY. With his take down defense and fight IQ in keeping himself aware of where all of his limbs and neck are at, especially his legs, he should be able to pound Bandel’s face in. I love the underdog submission seeker, especially someone like an Ian Entwistle. What can I say? I’m a sucker for subs.
Bandel via 1st round heel hook
Aleksandra Albu (-185) vs Izabela Badurek (+160)
Little film available on either fighter, and Albu has one fight on her record, which was over two years ago. Yeah…..you can see why I’m hesitant to even name a winner here. From what I can see, (and that’s a big if) Badurek is very solid on the ground as well as holding a brown belt in Judo, while Albu is a black belt in Karate. Albu is a very quick and efficient striker, who can muster together a flurry of combinations whenever she feels an opening. In one of Badurek’s fights, she seemed to get rocked by a punch and staggered, giving up her back only to reverse the situation and getting in a submission win from full mount. Albu did show some nice flashes of good and quick striking from what I saw and could rack up a ton of significant strikes. I wouldn’t be surprised if Albu won this outright in a striking exhibition match, but I’m gonna go Badurek based on cuteness factor. Albu does have a nice butt though.
Badurek via unanimous sexiness (decision)
Anthony Hamilton (+135) vs Daniel Omielanczuk (-155)
All right! A battle between two fats! Always a crowd favorite, unless someone sits on the other guy. Anthony Hamilton is just an average heavyweight with power in his hands and solid wrestling base, but lacks the techniques needed to be an effective boxer nor does he possess any kind of good single/double leg take downs to be able to utilize his wrestling. He mostly gets his opponents down by rocking them or pushing them up the cage and dragging them down with his heftiness. He is bad on his back, something Daniel O could take advantage of with his judoka chops and great submission skills. However, Daniel O will be five inches shorter and a few pounds lighter than Hamilton. As seen in his fight vs Rosholt, another big HW wrestler who generally grinds his way to wins, Daniel O will have a size disadvantage facing bigger wrestlers. While that may sound like good news for Hamilton, I just don’t think Hamilton has the kind of wrestling to be able to stay on top of Daniel O as his grappling skills have been lackluster thus far. While Hamilton may have some real power in his hands, his lack of combinations also weakens his striking defense to quicker fighters. Daniel O may be a submission specialist, but he does have some solid striking since he has some training in kickboxing. That should help him keep Hamilton at bay and bide his time for an opening to take the bigger Hamilton down, ending it with a choke.
Omielanczuk via 1st round arm triangle
Damian Stasiak (-130) vs Yaotzin Meza (+110)
Stasiak seems like a very clean striker, using quick 1-2 combos and finishing them off with a leg kick, especially to the body. His main weapon is the take-down, which up to this point from what I saw is good enough to be a big part of his game plan vs. anybody. His striking defense leaves much to be desired but he makes up for it with his strength as he is able to absorb the blows and gets in a body lock for the takedown. Along with his black belt in karate, Stasiak also owns a brown belt in BJJ, and it definitely shows on film as he is quick to find dominant positions to force his opponent to make a move with well-timed ground and pound. He also has a good guard, being able to fend off submissions and quickly get up. That isn’t good for Meza, as he will be at a big disadvantage standing and will likely look to get the fight to the ground. Meza is a bit of a hit or miss fighter, either getting in a very nice submission win or getting knocked out. Meza is very average standing, with glaring holes in his striking defense that Stasiak should be able to pick apart. Meza also doesn’t have great grappling to aid his takedowns, but if it does get to the ground I’m not too worried about the risk of a sub as Stasiak is competent enough from bottom to not put himself in a bad position for Meza to take advantage of. This matchup just seems bad on paper to me, as Stasiak likely has a big advantage standing and should have the better offensive and defensive wrestling of the two if Meza decides to go to that route. I smell a KO coming.
Stasiak via 2nd round KO
Mickael Lebout (+325) vs Sergio Moraes (-400)
Serginho makes his octagon return after nearly two years off, and he will be coming in to some fanfare as he is a four time world BJJ champion and absolutely filthy on the ground. Like most BJJ specialists (mostly world champions/high caliber BJJ guys), Moraes has a very rudimentary striking game, really only throwing out anything to start up some exchanges so he can duck under and shoot in for a single leg take down. While Moraes does go for take downs fairly often, he isn’t going to overpower his opponents and he doesn’t have any tricks up his sleeves asides from the single leg. But, once it hits the ground…….oh boy. His transition and pass game is comparable to Demian Maia but with more emphasis on getting the submission as opposed to posturing up and getting in some ground and pound. All of his wins but one have come way of submission, and he can do any kind of submission wherever and whenever he wants. There are some questions about his chin, and I’ll admit they are valid as Brett Cooper flash KO’d him with a seemingly plain uppercut. That would honestly be my only issue with Moraes as he faces Lebout, who is making his UFC debut. Lebout is an all-around solid fighter that doesn’t overwhelm anybody with any aspect of his game. His striking is more push the pace and volume orientated to set up some exchanges on the feet so he can do what Sergio likes to do, duck under and get the single leg take down. He does have a much better clinch game than Moraes, but he probably won’t even try to do that vs. the vaunted BJJ killer. Stylistically, this is a nightmare for Lebout as in most of his fights he mixes up the striking with take downs, so facing Moraes will most likely cause Lebout to be one dimensional. As I said before, Lebout doesn’t have any eye popping strikes at his disposal and isn’t going to run Moraes around in circles with his striking speed, so there will be some chances for Moraes to telegraph Lebout’s attacks and get a take down. Lebout doesn’t have great defensive wrestling which is yet another disadvantage for him in the matchup. Moraes is going to remind us that he is still a renowned BJJ champion with an armbar from full mount.
Moraes by 1st round armbar
Bartosz Fabinski (-125) vs Garreth McLellan (+105)
This is a fight between two guys who want to get the fight to the ground immediately. Fabinski will probably be the main guy to push the pace and get the fight rolling on the ground as he usually starts the fight off with a barrage of strikes then a quick shoot in, to push them up the cage. From there, he can either grind it out on the cage or grab a leg and try to drag his opponents down. On the ground he reminds me of Patrick Cummins in a way, as he has excellent postures and has a stifling top control while keeping the pressure on with ground and pound. He isn’t gonna have many passes as he is mainly just a strong top control guy, and that is going to be his advantage vs. McLellan. McLellan comes from the same circuit as the recently cut Ruan Potts in EFC Africa, so I’m hesitant to praise McLellan’s skill-set. McLellan, much like Fabinski, wants to get the fight to the ground, but the way he achieves that is much different from Fabinski. He is patient on the feet, using some low leg kicks to force the action and getting in a some trips/throws from clinch. Once on the ground, he is an aggressive submission hunter, willing to give up positions in exchange for a sub he deems worthy of pulling off. He tends to be off balance on some of the throws he attempts, which can result in his opponents getting favorable positions on sprawls and eventually getting top position. While McLellan has generally mitigated the risk of his grappling mistakes, I don’t think he can get away with that vs. Fabinski who is very adept at getting and keeping top control. This fight likely comes down on who can get top control first without sacrificing position. While Fabinski is the better bet at pulling off that strategy, McLellan does have some nice submission skills even though they are primarily from top. I’m gonna go with the more aggressive guy here but if you’re looking for a finish McLellan is your guy here.
Fabinski via unanimous decision
Leon Edwards (-135) vs Seth Baczynski (+115)
Leon Edwards is a quick southpaw striker who is kinda lean as a welterweight. He definitely has some flash and power in his kicks and punches, but his biggest weakness is facing wrestlers that consistently push the pace and keep moving towards him with the threat of the take down. Seth Baczynski certainly could take Edwards down or push him around the cage, but he’s mostly a long range fighter, using his 6’3 frame and 78 inch reach advantage to win the striking exchanges. The problem with that is, Baczynski isn’t really good at finding his range while keeping out of range of his opponent’s strikes. His lack of striking defense for a big man like him is disappointing, but it does give the viewers some entertaining exchanges as Seth doesn’t back down and will swing wildly when pressured. His fight vs. Thiago Alves was certainly entertaining even in a loss, as he racked up 90 significant strikes while enduring some brutal blows by Alves. Leon Edwards could take advantage of Bacynzki’s lack of striking defense with a flash KO, but I think it will be a competitive striking battle with Seth maybe trying to get in a couple of take downs to win a round. I’m leaning towards Leon Edwards right now, as his speed and quickness should be able to overcome Baczynski’s length. He could also conceivably crack Baczynski’s chin for the KO win. I have a feeling Baczynski is going to make this a tough out for Edwards though.
Edwards via unanimous decision
Joanna Calderwood (-600) vs Maryna Moroz (+450)
Calderwood, aka JoJo, is a Muay Thai specialist with very good take down defense, and is coming off a win where she accumulated 109 significant strikes in a dominant stand up battle. She loves to use her left jab to pick and probe her way and set up the leg kicks and front kicks. She has excellent footwork, always moving in and out of range and searching for the right angles as she keeps her opponent at bay with the left jab. Maryna Moroz is yet another fighter with not much film available other than one fight that showed some nice things about Moroz. Like Calderwood, Moroz opens up the fight using left jabs liberally to open up the power shots and the occasional kick. Moroz seemed like the slower, more powerful version of Calderwood (take that with a grain of salt) with less polished techniques as she tends to throw the hook haphazardly, which isn’t a good option vs. the quicker, more technically sound Calderwood. I really can see JoJo having yet another 100+ sig strike win as she cruises to victory. Gonna be tough for Moroz to get in range of the always shifting Calderwood.
Calderwood via unanimous decision
Pawel Pawlak (+170) vs Sheldon Westcott (-200)
Hey! Sheldon Westcott is back in action! Some of you may remember me slobbering all over Westcott’s potential as he is a very aggressive fighter both standing and on the ground. He will literally fling himself into his opponent’s path in an attempt to get up close and personal. From there, he uses the clinch well, using many various trips and throws to get them to the ground. Once on the ground he is never still or complacent, always looking to lock up a sub. His unbridled aggression and surprising ability to get submissions considering his lack of a MMA background is going to be a real issue for Pawlak. Pawlak is coming of a loss vs. Peter Sobotta where he simply just got taken down a few times, only to be stuck on his back for the majority of the rounds. While Pawlak is a solid striker with a fairly quick left hook to go with plenty of leg kick variations, vs. Sobotta it seemed he was very worried about the take down and did not throw many leg kicks. He has decent take down defense but hasn’t really faced anyone on Westcott’s aggression level so it’s hard to gauge how Pawlak’s take down defense would fare. Unfortunately for him, I’m certain he is going to the ground and going to sleep courtesy of a RNC.
Westcott via 1st round rear naked choke
Jan Blachowicz (+140) vs Jimi Manuwa (-160)
VIOLENCE! Someone is going to be in a coma after the fight. Both men are going to stand and bang at will with tremendous force. Blachowicz switches his stance quite often and will throw out a plethora of kicks out of either stance with precision, as seen in his fight vs. Ilir Latifi where he ended Latifi’s night with a hell of a body kick. Usually I’d be worried about a fighter that predominately uses kicks over punches against guys who can get a take down, but I don’t think Manuwa is going to try and attempt to catch one of those brutal kicks in an attempt to take Blachowicz down. Manuwa is a powerful striker in his own right as he has fantastic athletic ability for a man of his size. He has several absolutely devastating KO wins on record, using his strong boxing and counters to get the job done. The one weakness he does have is his chin, which can be a little…..fluttery at times to put it that way. Not good when facing a unique striker like Blachowicz. Manuwa does have a purple belt in BJJ and Blachowicz has shown in the past he isn’t active off his back and tends to allow stronger fighters to stay on top of him. That’s something to keep in mind during the fight if Manuwa decides he wants no part of a stand up battle vs. Blachowicz. This is really a tough call between two of the more intriguing prospects of the LHW division, but I’m gonna side with the Polish sensation.
Blachowicz via 2nd round TKO
Mirko Cro Cop (+180) vs Gabriel Gonzaga (-220)
Cro Cop returns to the UFC! Yes, it’s his third time back in the UFC, but hey third time’s the charm! The last time these men met, Cro Cop got brutally knocked out by a head kick courtesy of Gonzaga. From then on, Cro Cop has gotten whacked by just about everyone in the HW division, including Frank Mir, Brendan Schuab and Roy Nelson. It’s safe to say Cro Cop’s chin is nonexistent. Thankfully for him, Gonzaga’s chin is very subpar as well, scaring all the degenerates who select him in their lineups when he fights in a favorable matchup. You know….like this one. To be honest with you, this really is just a matter of who hits the other first. I mean, Gonzaga should have all the advantages in this fight as he is the younger guy (not that he isn’t old himself at 35 years of age), has the BJJ chops to kill anything on the ground, and the boxing to crack Cro Cop. The problem is Cro Cop is still the Cro Cop of old, a patient man with earth shattering kicks. Maybe Cro Cop wants to prove his doubters wrong and rise up those kicks quickly and as much as possible. I mean, even a blocked kick could stun Gonzaga! I really, really hope this doesn’t turn into another Mir vs. Cro Cop affair, as I would probably just turn off the TV and Tweet to Dana White to shut down the UFC. I think both men will feel their way around each other in the 1st round, with some Gonzaga pushing Cro Cop up the cage action. Once the 2nd round starts, that’s where the magic is gonna happen. I’m going to predict Cro Cop running up to Gonzaga and pummeling him with thunderous kicks and finishing it off with a flying knee for the KO win as the crowd cheers him on wildly with all of the women baring themselves for the world to see. Oh you crazy Poles. A man can dream, can’t he? Screw the favorite!
Cro Cop via 2nd round flying knee KO
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