Joining us this week is a new member of the team, Scott Kettles, who is as all-round sports fanatic and will be bringing us his thoughts on various US-based Sports. He kicks-off with a look at Saturday's UFC card which is live in the UK on BTSport.
YET again a hard week of work is over, and now we get to relax with another fascinating card on Saturday evening live from Newark, New Jersey.
This card was initially supposed to be taking place in Russia before it was moved to the states on very short notice and very little of that original card is left, along with the start time, which now BST time, starts at 6pm.
Although the card may not be very exciting to the untrained eye, there are few (including myself) that are genuinely intrigued to finally get to see some of the fights on the rearranged card. In total, I’ll be going through 2 fights that I have singled out to have the best value in picks, as well as being excited to see these guys go down in New Jersey on Saturday.
Trevin Giles vs Gerald Meerschaert
Our first pick comes from the middleweight bout between Trevin Gyles (11-1) and Gerald Meerschaert (28-11).
Texas born Trevin Giles was 9-0 going into his UFC debut back in 2017 and the 26 year old made an instant impact with a second round KO win over James Bochnivic, he followed that up with a late KO win over Antonio Braga Neto and ended the year in style.
Looking like a very exciting prospect he took everyone by surprise when he decided to leave the MMA world for 2018, to become a police officer. However earlier this year after taking the year out, the temptation of fighting was too much and Giles came running back to the UFC, looking to pick up where he left off 2 years prior, but it was not to be, a 2nd round submission loss to Zak Cummings handed him his first loss in professional MMA and now in a different mindset he looks to get back in the win column this weekend.
Meerschaert plagued the boards of various other promotions for 9 years before getting his big UFC break in 2016, since then he sports a 4-3 record in the company but has had very tough and well known opponents such as `Kevin Holland, Thiago Santos (who most recently gave Jon Jones a big scare in their Light Heavyweight title match last month) and ranked middleweight contender Jack Hermansson.
A submission specialist, Meerschaert has gotten some impressive wins in his career and in the UFC, the one that most caught the eye was his TKO win over Eric Spicely where his usual submission gameplay wasn’t coming through so had to change it up in split second, and that he did when he got the Victory due to a demolition kick to his opponents rib cage. Unfortunately every attempt that he has made to move up the ladder in his division, it has resulted in a very one-sided loss, for that reason, a win in New Jersey over Giles would be the first time he could actually gain some momentum up said ladder.
Meerschaert’s style definitely suits this matchup, and Giles’ defensive grappling is somewhat questionable and it is yet to be seen how he would deal with someone constantly pressuring him looking for a takedown. At the same time, Meerschaert’s wonky C.V is too hard to ignore, against anyone with any sort of expolosive power or speed he just hasn’t been able to keep up, and that’s what Giles brings to the table.
If the Wisconsin born is able to get the win, it could result in a very one sided submission victory, however I think Giles power and overall athletic ability will be able to overcome the pressure and takedown attempts made at him and tag him with various punches on his way to a stoppage.
- Trevin Giles by KO/TKO – 13/8 Skybet
Colby Covington vs Robbie Lawler
Covington (14-1) is probably feeling very hard done by after having to take this fight, being the interim Welterweight champion, he would have been expected to get the next shot at the current (at the time) champ Tyron Woodley, however an injury forced him out for a few months, and Nigerian superstar Kamaru Usman filled the gap left by Colby, and obliged by completely dominating that title fight and taking the belt from long standing Woodley.
Now, after sitting on the sidelines and waiting his time Covington is ready to blast past Veteran Lawler and march towards getting what he calls, “His”, title back.
Lawler (28-13) has been umong the welterweight elite for so long now that it is worth mentioning how good his comeback has been. He returned back to UFC in 2013, at the time seemed like a novelty however he quickly silenced critics who doubted if his ability was still there by gaining victories over Josh Koshcheck, Rory Macdonald and Donald Cerrone.
These wins mounted a charge and set up a title fight with Rafael Dos Anjos, however he was outbattled and worn out over 5 rounds and lost the unanimous decision. After taking off 2018 for family time, he returned to welcome newly signed submission artist Ben Askren to the octagon, loosing that fight to a very dubious stoppage from referee Herb Dean it did not hurt him that much, and a win over Covington would most certainly put him right back in the title picture mix.
This should be an absolute corker of a fight, the risk however is high for Colby, Win and a title fight is almost a certainty, Lose and he has to climb the ladder all over again. His main issue is his striking defence, which, to put it nicely, is terrible. However his durability is a massive plus in the matchup, no matter what his opponents have landed on him he will continue to move forward and push looking for a finish.
For Lawler, he must stop Colby and his persistent wrestling and clinch game, if he can do this I’m sure he can win the battle over the 5 rounds, as he has outlasted much tougher fighters than Covington. In turn and shown in Lawlers loss against Dos Anjos if Colby can just keep surviving and pushing forward towards the fence Lawler can be broken down eventually, and that exactly what I think the always optimistic Covington will do on his way to a decision victory.
- Colby Covington by Decision – 6/5 Skybet
Think you know your UFC? Let's hear your thoughts on Saturday's bouts in the comments below.