UFC 226: Paul Felder vs. Mike Perry Fight Breakdown
MMA Record: 15-3
UFC Record: 7-3
Notable Wins: Charles Oliveira, Stevie Ray
Notable Losses: Fracisco Trinaldo, Edson Barboza, Ross Pearson
Last Fight: TKO win over Charles Oliveira
Fighter Profile: One of the top lightweights in the UFC, Felder decided to step up and take this fight against Perry up a weight class after losing a fight with James Vick. Felder is fighting with a ton of confidence at the moment as he's won three-straight fights by knockout and he's looked amazing as of late. In the past we've seen some holes in his striking and takedown defense but he seems to have cleaned those up and he looks much more well-rounded as of late. But he was doing that at lightweight, so let's see how he does at welterweight. It's possible he looks great and becomes a contender at 170lbs, but he could also crash and burn. It's really hard to say, but based on what we have seen from him in the UFC overall, Felder is a very smart, exciting fighter who has a great skillset, and he could very well emerge as a contender in the welterweight division with a victory here over Perry.
MMA Record: 11-3
UFC Record: 4-3
Notable Wins: Hyun Gyu Lim, Dann Roberts, Jake Ellenberger
Notable Losses: Max Griffin, Santiago Ponzinibbio, Alan Jouban
Last Fight: Decision loss to Max Griffin
Fighter Profile: One of the most powerful strikers in the UFC welterweight division, Perry has been really inconsistent in the UFC. At times he's looked like a future superstar with his powerful knockouts but at other times he's lost decisions in fights that he should have won. Offensively he's a fast starter and can knock out anyone at 170lbs but defensively he has a ton of holes in his game and they have been exploited by smarter, more technical fighters. Perry is still young enough that he can improve, but from what we've seen from him he has too many holes in his game to ever be a true welterweight contender, and right now he's a gatekeeper. He's a good fighter, but he might be better off headed to Bellator, as a loss here to Felder and the UFC may very well move on from him.
Fight Breakdown: Even though Felder is stepping up a weight class on short notice, I still feel like he wins this fight. In my opinion he's the better mixed martial artist and ultimately I think that's the difference in this fight, not the size. Felder is the more well-rounded fighter of the pair as well as the more technical striker. No doubt Perry has a ton of knockout power, but if he doesn't get the knockout we've see him get tired late and lose decisions. Even though Felder is coming off of a string of knockout wins, I think he fights with a smart gameplan in this one and picks apart Perry on the feet for a decision win in his UFC welterweight debut.
Prediction: Paul Felder via decision
Tags: betting preview
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