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Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland

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Uriah Hall vs. Sean Strickland breakdown

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I was given two solid pieces of advice by a horse breeder that I’ll never forget; don’t bet on horses and never give tips. She would probably say the exact same if she was an MMA fan, as that can be just as seemingly random as horse racing.

Both men show a lot of similarities; slow to start in Round 1, serious power in their right hands, good ground and pound, hate the back foot. Both men also prefer fighting orthodox so it looks like it will be a closed guard matchup. Of the two men, Uriah Hall possess the deeper bag of tricks (we probably won’t see a shoulder crank but you never know) and Sean Strickland possess the durability of a zombie so less discuss their keys to success at UFC Fight Night: Hall vs. Strickland.

Keys Sean Strickland’s success

One of the tendencies Uriah Hall never dropped is his approach when his back is to the fence. He does Golden Age era Anderson Silva impression then circles out with his hands down, into a left hook. Hall was pressured to the fence in the fight with Jotko and got caught there for the better part of the first round. Hall is a slow starter, he often flicks out the jab as a feint but rarely does much with it. He displayed a hard jab against Costa and fought his way off the fence with some knees from the clinch but ultimately got swarmed along the fence.

Bevon Lewis had good results smothering Hall’s hands against the fence and in the center of the Octagon. Strickland does this on occasion so it may be something useful to him. We see it very seldom from Strickland but some body work would serve him well along the fence, much like Costa’s performance opposite Hall.

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(Volume and pressure is Strickland’s bread and butter, food that Uriah Hall is known for not handling well)

Strickland is pretty great at catching punches, so pitching them back at Uriah is a good move. Gegard Mousasi had great success on the ground in both of their fights and applied ground and pound liberally. Hall is at his best in the middle of the Octagon, where he does get clipped with left hooks and jabs but other than looks well. Robert Whittaker’s success in their fight came from landing blows from grappling exchanges. So really the gold standard plan for Strickland would be to start early (which can be difficult for him sometimes) get Hall to the fence and keep him there. Either pour it on him standing or drag him to the matt.

Key’s to Uriah Hall’s success

Strickland fights out of the orthodox stance, I’ve watched all of his fights since 2016 and he has not changed much other than the fact that he kicks a bit and he’s pretty defensively savvy on his back. He has a good 1-2, with solid power in his right hand, and a good left hook. He smothers the lead hand and catches punches with his shoulders. He doesn’t care about kicks and just absorbs them or tries to catch them and drag them across his opponents body. Of all the fights I’ve watched of his he only timed it once and scored a trip on Brendan Allen. He gets comfortable in the first and gets a finish if his opponents get tired and then he puts his foot on the throttle and swarms them with punches.

Uriah Hall can use Strickland’s appetite for lead legs kick to full effect. I watched a lot of tape on Strickland for this breakdown and he barely checks anything or he tries to scoop the kick. Taleb did not really have much of an answer when it came to the hands but he teed off on Strickland’s lead leg at will almost. A cheeky calf kick into a question mark kick might be an idea as Hall does have the variety in his arsenal to pull it off.

Strickland is also solid when he is pushing the action, probing for an entry and then once he finds it he lets his hands fly. On the backfoot though he does not have much in the way of offence and often leaves the pocket on a straight line. Hall could definitely find a home for the overhand right if he sets it up with a combination but it really depends on what stance Uriah fights out of for this one. Kamauru Usman set up the overhand right well when he faced Strickland but the height difference would often result in Usman clipping his shoulder instead, same goes for Jack Marshman. Brendan Allen, probably the only fighter to ever have a height advantage over Strickland, landed a clean overhand right a few times during their bout.

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Uriah’s right hand is quiet versatile, whether it a hook, a straight, or an overhand. He can even catch his man going backwards.

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Strickland often shells up and protects himself with his right arm, which is also a his good one. Hall could mix his kicks upstairs on and downstairs, slowing Strickland’s movement and damaging his best weapon at the same time. Uriah Hall is a combination of solid strip mall Karate and an absolute shotgun blast of a right hand, if he can establish the distance and the pace on his terms he may even score a finish.

Then again, the only time Strickland was finished was against Uriah Hall’s signature move, rarely does anyone throw anything unpredictable Strickland’s way and Uriah has a serious toolbelt. If a fight goes on long enough, Uriah will throw the kick (for brand management purposes at this point I suppose).

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Frans Mlambo Out, Arturo Vergara In For May 29 Combate Global Event

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Frans Mlambo, the number one contender in Combate Global’s bantamweight division, will be replaced by hard-hitting Arturo Vergara (2-0 MMA; 3-1 Kickboxing) of Los Andes, Chile via Miami.  Vergara will challenge Martinez of Mexico City, Mexico in a bantamweight non-title bout.

Combate Global today announced a new main event for its show on Sunday, May 29 in Miami, Fla., due to an abdominal injury sustained by Ireland’s Frans “The Zulu Irishman” Mlambo (13-5), who had been scheduled to challenge reigning Combate Global World Bantamweight (135 pounds) Champion David “The Black Spartan” Martinez (6-1) for Martinez’s title.

Combate Global will announce television programming details as well as the complete fight card for the event on Tuesday, May 24.

“We wish Frans a full and speedy recovery,” said Combate Global CEO Campbell McLaren, “and are excited to debut Chile’s Arturo Vergara, who is coming off an incredible, nine-second knockout!  I have a lot of respect for Arturo stepping up because David Martinez is as tough an opponent as they come.”

Unbeaten to date under MMA rules, Vergara produced a stunning, nine-second knockout via a flying knee strike of Cody Schieve on May 6. The speedy win followed another first round (2:21) TKO (strikes) that Vergara notched in his MMA rules debut against Steven Orozco on February 19.

Prior to his first MMA start, Vergara had competed exclusively under kickboxing rules, amassing over 80 bouts as an amateur, and a 3-1 record as a professional. The 23-year-old Martinez of Mexico City will enter La Jaula, the Combate Global competition cage, for the first time since he was crowned world champion one year ago, on May 29, 2021.

A member of Team Bonebreakers, Martinez defeated three consecutive opponents – including championship round adversary Francisco “Cisco” Rivera, Jr. via second round (0:17) TKO (head kick and punches) – in one night, to become world champion.

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UFC London | 5 Fighters Who Have To Be On The Card

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Immediately after UFC London earlier in the year, the ball started rolling towards a second UK event in 2022 after Dana White made it clear he wanted to come back soon. Whilst the year’s first event at the O2 Arena delivered one of the best non-PPV events in recent history, there’s still more ground to cover. Aspinall vs Volkov was stacked with home fighters but there are still a handful that missed out on fighting in front of the UK.

Here are five UK fighters that deserve a chance to fight at the O2 Arena after missing out the first time. Not that we’re complaining if the likes of Paddy Pimblett and Jai Herbert show up on this card also.

5. Dom Wooding

Yes it is true, we will never stop banging this drum. After defending his Cage Warriors bantamweight title in December of last year, we had our fingers crossed that London would come around in time for Dom Wooding. The ‘Black Panther’ didn’t get the call up on that occasion but absence has only made the heart grow fonder. This is the time for Dom Wooding to fight in the UFC and if you don’t believe us, maybe ‘The Last Stylebender’ can change your mind.

4. Mason Jones

Mason ‘The Dragon’ Jones has had quite a stop and start UFC career since joining the promotion as a double champion in Cage Warriors. The Welshman is 1-1-1 in the UFC so far and would have picked up some decent momentum if his fight with Alan Patrick hadn’t been stopped due to an accidental eye poke in a fight he was winning comfortably. A win over late notice replacement David Onama, who recently picked up a first UFC win of his own, has got Jones back on the right path after a tough introduction to the UFC against Mike Davis. Jones always delivers great fights due to his high pressure and output style and a win in London could be exactly the kind of moment he needs to really put the past behind him and push on in the UFC.

3. Lerone Murphy

For the vast majority of UK fight fans, Lerone Murphy came out of nowhere when he debuted in the UFC. Now on a 3-fight win streak after his debut resulted in a draw at UFC 242, Murphy has been putting on increasingly impressive performances every time he has stepped foot in the Octagon. Still yet to fight in front of UK fans, ‘The Miracle’ will have a huge fight on his hands in his next outing as he looks to step foot in the rankings of the stacked featherweight division.

2. Davey Grant

Davey Grant has really made a name for himself in recent times as a must watch fighter who will steal a main card. After chaining back-to-back finishes, Grant may have lost two of his last three fights but his stock in the UFC has risen massively. His fights with Marlon Vera and Adrian Yanez put Grant on the map when it comes to value for money fighters. Now back in the win column after his 3rd round finish over Louis Smolka at the weekend, Grant said in his post fight interview about making a quick turn around and potentially fighting in London. We know we are asking for a lot with the card already being incredibly busy but Davey Grant opening the main card with a barnburner is sure to blow the roof off of the O2 just like the last time the UFC came calling.

1. Nathaniel Wood

Luck has not been on Nathaniel Wood’s side as of late. Three cancelled fights in a row meant he missed out on the first London card even after he was found a replacement opponent. An illness forced Vince Morales out of their bout which seemed to be opening the event and setting the tone for the evening with the return of ‘The Prospect’ in front of his people. After going 4-2 as a bantamweight in the UFC but losing to two top fighters in John Dodson and Casey Kenney, Wood has announced he is moving up a weight class since his fight in London fell off. Nathaniel Wood deserves this chance to fight in London after losing out at such short notice last time around and we can’t wait to see how he stacks up amongst the rest of the 145 pound division.

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Fight To Watch | Muhammad Mokaev vs Charles Johnson

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Fights are being booked fast and furiously for July 23rd as the UFC’s anticipated return to London approaches. With fireworks expected throughout the whole event, MMAPlay365 and VMTV have scoured through the card and selected Muhammad Mokaev vs Charles Johnson as our ‘Fight To Watch’ on the night.

Muhammad Mokaev returns to the octagon following a successful debut back at UFC London in March against Cody Durden. ‘The Punisher’ made light work of his American counter-part, submitting him in the first round via guillotine choke with very little problems. His upcoming opponent, Charles Johnson, signs with the UFC after an impressive four-fight winning streak on LFA, which saw him capture and defend flyweight gold.

His ability to mix it up on the feet and in grappling scenarios make this a much more dangerous bout for Mokaev stylistically, but it’s still nothing the 21 year old won’t be able to handle in the eyes of MMAPlay365 CEO, Adam Newsome:

“At this stage of Muhammad Mokaev’s UFC career every fight is going to be a test. And just because you haven’t heard of Charles Johnson doesn’t mean he isn’t a good fighter. Johnson was the Flyweight Champion in LFA. If you aren’t familiar with LFA it’s basically the American equivalent of Cage Warriors. You are battle tested in LFA and if you become a Champion the chances are the UFC are going to sign you.

So this is a very interesting match-up but still right now I don’t think that Mokaev gets tested enough to the point he loses. This is going to be another fight I see him doing extremely well in and I don’t see Mokaev losing a fight until he hits the top 20 of the division. But even when that time comes, he is going to have improved and developed so much that he could run through that pool of fighters at that time. If a fighter is going to beat Mokaev outside the best fighters in the division then now is the time to do it whilst he’s still developing. But even though he’s still developing he’s still a problem. I’m not sure Mokaev finds another finish here so I am predicting a dominant three round decision victory for Muhammad Mokaev.”

Cauley Quilty, Editor for VMTV, had this to say on the fight: “Muhammad Mokaev is always a treat to watch in action and his UFC debut back in March was nothing short of spectacular! He came to make a statement and did exactly that getting the first round finish and I see him doing the same thing when he steps back out there against Charles Johnson. His extensive amateur career and impressive run of professional performances make it almost impossible to not side with Mokaev in this bout, especially with the way he defeated Durden on his debut.

However, Charles Johnson isn’t an opponent anyone should underestimate as his resume and recent performances speak for themselves! His fight vs Carlos ‘Mota’ Tizil was a barnburner and with 8 of his 11 wins coming by way of finish you know he can get the job done when needed. Both fighters are highly touted and respected so expect the winner of this to receive a bump up in competition on their next outing.”

Who do you think leaves the ‘Fight To Watch’ with their hand raised? Be sure to let us know your predictions below!

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