Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at American Michel Quinones as he makes his UFC debut against fellow American Jared Gordon at UFC 211 in Dallas, Texas.  

Michel “El Capo” Quinones

Hometown: Queens, New York
Age: 32
Height: 5-foot-10
Reach: 71 inches
Weight Class: Featherweight
Camp: American Top Team / Team Wolf Pack
Career Record: 8-1
Key Wins: None
Key Losses: Brandon Girtz

Background

Training in mixed martial arts since the age of nine, Quinones has been fighting professionally since 2011. He’s on a five fight winning streak with four of those victories coming inside the distance.

Strengths

  • Really good footwork
  • Moves in and out of the pocket well
  • Left leg kick is deceptive and he can land with very little space to operate

 

Weaknesses

  • Too often fights with his back against the cage
  • Hittable on the feet
  • Striking too predicated by his kicks 
  • Shown no semblance of a ground game

 

 


Fighter Grade

Offensive Striking: C+
Striking Defense: D
Knockout Power: D+
Athleticism / Speed: C
Footwork: B-
Chin: D+
Offensive Wrestling: F
Takedown Defense: D
Submissions: D-
Conditioning: D+
Intangibles: D

Overall Grade: D

Matchup with Jared Gordon

A matchup of two UFC debutants as Quinones takes on Gordon. This fight sees a clash of styles, as Quinones is a technical Muay Thai striker while Gordon is brawling grappler. For Quinones to have success in this fight, he will need to fight at distance and land kicks to put Gordon on the feet. That’s going to be very difficult to do as Gordon likes to engage, close the distance and work in takedowns. From top control, he does well to advance positions to find submissions. Gordon is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under John Danaher and certainly a capable grappler. Gordon’s conditioning will also play a factor in this bout. He’s well-conditioned and is a fighter who can maintain a grinding style throughout a 15-minute fight. Despite Quinones having a technical striking advantage, Gordon is the better all-around better fighter with a style that is well suited for MMA. Quinones’ tendency to back up towards the fence and fight off his back foot further enhances Gordon’s ability to grapple allowing him to push Quinones against the fence and work in takedowns. As a -145 favorite at 5Dimes, Gordon is a good bet to win and worth considering a bet on in this fight. Stylistically this fight favors him quite a bit.

UFC Ceiling

Quinones has an entertaining striking approach that makes for fun fights against other strikers. But at 32 years of age, I don’t expect him to develop a ground game to help round out his skill set. In MMA, he’s going to struggle to beat more well-rounded opponents. If matched up right with other strikers, he can earn a couple of wins in the UFC. Otherwise, I’d expect him to struggle to maintain the necessary distance to have an effective striking attack in the UFC. 

Fight Film

Check out Quinones in some of his most recent fights…

Quinones vs. Billy Quarantillo

Quinones vs. Caio Rocha

https://www.ufc.tv/video/michel-quinones-vs-caio-uruguai-rocha-titan-fc-43