This weekend’s UFC 146 in Las Vegas, Nevada features the Heavyweights on the main card. One of the matches that figure to have a chance at ‘Fight of the Night’ is the tilt between UFC newcomer Shane Del Rosario and Stipe Miocic, which is a battle of two up and coming undefeated fighters.
Miocic has fought twice in the UFC before, while this is Del Rosario’s first taste of the bigtime, although he has 3 more fights than Miocic. He is coming to the UFC with his last fights being on the STRIKEFORCE roster.
Neither man has tasted defeat, so someone is going to walk out of this match with a feeling they never had before. This could translate into fireworks, and has this match as my dark horse for the UFC bonus for ‘Fight of the Night’.
When I look at the lines, I see Miocic is coming in as the favorite. Miocic, a Croatian who wrestled in college at Cleveland State, has had all but one of his fights decided by strikes. Though his wrestling game enables him to say up on his feet, we have yet to see if Miocic has a submission game, and with Del Rosario, he might be asked to call on that dimension.
Del Rosario is also heavy handed, as a lot of lower level guys have been taken out at the end of his fists. Del Rosario has competed actively in Muay Thai, but he has several submission wins in his MMA career as well. On paper Del Rosario appears to be the more well rounded fighter.
The weigh in revealed nothing much, as both men are in the mid 240 lb range, within one pound of each other. Rosario would appear to have the reach advantage.
We will see both men back in the UFC I believe, as both are still early enough in their MMA careers to warrant ‘prospect’ status.
But I think we are going to see Del Rosario take this one. He is a more technical stand up fighter and has flashed a ground game that Miocic has not. And like I’ve said in these blogs, I’ll bet skill most of the time above all else.