Despite having his head bounced off the canvas in PFL #1 last month by Magomed Idrisov, Steven Siler was able to survive and secure a miraculous triangle submission victory. Even more miraculously, has been cleared to fight again immediately. His opponent on Thursday night, Alexandre de Almeida, presents a difficult stylistic challenge.
A Crafty Submission Specialist
Steven Siler is not the most technical MMA fighter. Wading forward with his chin high and his hands low, Siler eats an enormous amount of shots in every fight. You can watch his head snap back like a human Pez dispenser, yet he’s usually able to stay on his feet. Against Canadian kickboxer, Hakeem Dawodu, it was incredible Siler was able survive until the final bell.
It’s fortunate he has a granite chin, because most fighters would not be able to get away with the same defensive lapses as Siler. He admitted that against Idrisov, his plan was to let his opponent tee off on his face to get him tired for a submission. While not a great wrestler himself, he doesn’t mind being taken down because of his sneaky guard game. Occasionally he’s able to lock in a submission off his back, but more often than not he concedes rounds due to positional control. This doesn’t bode well against a high level black belt like Alexandre de Almeida.
While Siler is known for his opportunistic submissions, Almeida is the infinitely superior grappler. I anticipate Almeida will be the one to take the fight to the mat and I can’t see him getting reversed or falling into a triangle. In fact, the only time Almeida has been submitted was 8 years ago and that was against a high level opponent in Renato Moicano.
If the fight stays standing, as is sometimes the case when two grapplers collide, I also favor Almeida. He can be hit at times, but has an excellent chin and his striking technique is far cleaner than his opponent’s. Almeida has never been finished with strikes and I doubt Siler is the man to do it.
I’m not going to win any awards for predicting that a -300 favorite will justify his price tag, but I’m confident he does. Siler’s best chance of victory is submitting a superior jiu-jitsu player, and I don’t see that happening unless Almeida makes a cataclysmic mistake. As a final point, Almeida also fought on the PFL #1 card in June but came out unscathed. Siler took some serious damage and should really be taking a longer break.
Pick: Alexandre de Almeida -300
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