Pre-Fight Stock Report: UFC on ESPN 6

By Jordan Colbert Oct 18, 2019
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The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday will return to Boston, as it arrives with an event headlined by the light heavyweight debut of Chris Weidman.

Who Has the Most to Gain?

Dominick Reyes: Despite coming into his first UFC main event boasting an undefeated 11-0 record, including five wins inside the UFC, a title-shot has evaded Reyes thus far; but a win over a former champion in Chris Weidman may be just what the doctor ordered to get “The Devastator” over the hump and among the ranks of the elite. Reyes is a tall, powerful and athletic striker and his key to this bout will be to keep Weidman on the end of his punches and away from close-quarters combat, where his opponent will look to work his wrestling attack.

Jeremy Stephens: Following the eye-poke debacle that caused Stephens’ matchup with Yair Rodriguez to be rebooked in Boston, an element of bad-blood has been added to this co-main event featherweight tilt that makes it even more interesting. Stephens and Rodriguez have been jawing back and forth in the lead up, but it is Stephens who can benefit most from a win on Friday night. On the heels of back-to-back loses before his original no-contest bout with Rodriguez, Stephens needs a win in a bad way if he hopes to remain relevant in a division that is quick to discard contenders following a few bad outings. Stephens’ best chance at success is not letting the bad-blood effect in judgement in-cage. He cannot opt to throw telegraphed knockout blows and should instead use his boxing to setup his shots appropriately.

Jonathan Pearce: Following a TKO victory on Dana White’s Contender Series, Pearce is primed for the biggest opportunity of his career against an established UFC veteran in Joe Lauzon. Two of Pearce’s three career losses are via submission, a specialty of Lauzon’s and he should be wary in engaging in grappling exchanges with his opponent. Standing is where Pearce will have the advantage against a dance partner coming in on the heels of two consecutive knockout losses. A win over a household name in Lauzon would be a major feather in the cap of Pearce, who’s looking to get his UFC career started with a bang.

Who Has the Most to Lose?

Chris Weidman: After suffering four knockout losses in his last five fights, former UFC middleweight champion Weidman makes the move up to light heavyweight, where he looks to fast-track his way to a fight with Jon Jones at the expense of the undefeated Reyes. This matchup could be seen as Weidman’s “last stand” as a contender in the UFC. Following a rough three years for “The All-American,” a sense of hope has been reignited with the change in weight but if he can’t get the job done against Reyes than he may follow in the footsteps of his former foe Luke Rockhold and never see a Jon Jones superfight materialize. Weidman’s best shot at victory is to engage with his grappling attack as early and often as possible, looking to drag his less-experienced opponent into deep water for the first time in his career.

Greg Hardy: As he continues to find his footing as a newcomer to the UFC’s heavyweight division, Hardy draws another journeyman in Ben Sosoli. Originally, Hardy had hopes of being fast-tracked into the Top 15, but with just six professional fights to his name, it seems the UFC has other plans in mind. Hardy is once again the overwhelming favorite going into this bout, but must be urged to temper his aggression out of the opening gate. Hardy is an athletic freak and has enough power to put down an ox, but all too often he puts himself in dangerous positions in pursuit of a quick knockout.

Maycee Barber: Since her arrival to the UFC’s strawweight division just over a year ago, Maycee Barber has wreaked havoc, taking out both of her opponents by stoppage via strikes and is slowly becoming known as one of the most promising prospects the division has seen yet. Barber must not get ahead of herself though. Her relentless chase of a fight with Paige VanZant has caused many to question whether she’s writing off her opponent, Gillian Robertson, as a mere steppingstone on her way to the top of the division, and that would be a huge mistake. Robertson is an opportunistic grappler that will undoubtedly look to use Barber’s aggression against her. Barber is without a doubt an impressive prospect, but she must not count her chickens before they hatch. Advertisement


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