Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series competitor Azunna Anyanwu as he makes his UFC debut against former boxer turned mixed martial artist Justin Ledet at UFC Fight Night 116. 

Azunna “Zulu” Anyanwu

Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Age: 36
Height: 6’1”
Reach: 77”
Weight Class: Heavyweight
Camp: Balance Studios
Career Record: 14-4
Key Wins: Greg Rebello
Key Losses: Dan Spohn

Background 

The 36-year-old heavyweight enters the UFC coming off a surprise win over veteran Greg Rebello on the Dana White Contender Series. Anyanwu has won his last five fights overall with the last three having been by stoppage. 

Strengths

  • Heavy right hand
  • Does a good job cutting off the cage
  • Pretty durable 

Weaknesses

  • Undersized for the weight class
  • A bit too hittable on the feet
  • Too often just throws one punch at a time
  • Making his UFC debut rather late in his career 

Fighter Grade

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

Overall Grade: D-

Matchup against Justin Ledet

In a matchup of strikers, Justin Ledet welcomes Azunna Anyanwu to the UFC. While both fighters prefer to strike, there is some real contrast in their approach. The newcomer Anyanwu has a big right hand that he loads up on. Meanwhile Ledet comes from a boxing background and does well to jab and throw punches in combination. Ledet is not a natural power puncher, but he tends to do his best work in volume. In this bout, it comes down to whether Anyanwu can catch Ledet. Anyanwu has the power to hurt most opponents, but he’s a low volume striker that will struggle to keep up with the combination approach of Ledet. So far in his UFC career, Ledet has proven to be difficult to hit and has seen little adversity inside the Octagon. Ledet has faced power punchers before and has not missed a beat. He may struggle down the road against more diverse strikers, but this matchup allows for him to control the distance and pace to win by either late finish or decision. Ledet is currently lined as a -350 favorite and is in the ballpark of where I have him lined in this fight. If he drops below -300 I recommend to utilize him in parlays for this card. 

UFC Ceiling

Azunna Anyanwu is a 36-year-old heavyweight with a powerful right hand, but not many other tools to go with it. He could put on some entertaining fights against bottom tier heavyweights in a “who lands first” type of a situation, but other than that, do not expect much from him in the UFC. 

Fight Film

Check out Azunna Anyanwu in some of his most recent fights:

Azunna Anyanwu vs. Greg Rebello

https://www.ufc.tv/video/zu-anyanwu-vs-greg-rebello-contender-series

Azunna Anyanwu vs. Lewis Rumsey

Azunna Anyanwu vs. Joe Stripling