Kicking off UFC 195’s main card is a lightweight matchup between Abel “Killa” Trujillo and Tony “2.0” Sims. Trujillo enters this fight on a two fight losing streak, though his most recent fight was riddled with controversy. Sims is also coming off a disappointing loss, as he was unable to fend off Olivier Aubin-Mercier’s grappling attack and ultimately lost a one-sided decision. Abel Trujillo (12-7 (1 NC) MMA, 3-3 (1 NC) UFC, +115 underdog) Trujillo makes a return to the Octagon only eight weeks after his last fight, a very controversial first round submission loss to Gleison Tibau. The bout was controversial because the referee stopped the fight even though Trujillo did not submit to Tibau’s rear-naked choke attempt. Additionally, Tibau failed drug tests for performance enhancing drugs both before and after the fight. While the fight has not been overturned and ruled a no-contest yet, it is likely only a matter of time. The Blackzilians representative had won two out of his three fights prior to his loss to Tibau, including vicious knockouts over Jamie Varner and Roger Bowling. The 32 year old is one of the hardest hitters in the UFC’s stacked lightweight division. Primarily a brawler, he throws every strike with fight ending intentions. Trujillo throws huge bombs with both hands in the pocket and is especially dangerous with his right hand. The clinch is another strong position, as he unleashes big knees and punches off the break. Trujillo’s biggest weakness is undoubtedly his conditioning. His tendency to explode and put everything he has into every strike is very taxing on his endurance. That causes him to slow down considerably in the second and third rounds. Fighters that have been able to survive his initial flurries have had success against him. While he is known as a knockout artists and brawler, Trujillo was also an accomplished collegiate wrestler. He was a four-time NAIA All-American wrestler for William Penn University. Additionally, he also won a state championship in North Carolina in 2002. Trujillo has a nice double-leg that he finishes with authority. When he establishes top position he throws heavy ground and pound but is not an offensive submission threat. Additionally, he is not an effective passer and has questionable submission defense. While his offensive wrestling is pretty good, Trujillo’s defensive wrestling is not very good. He can be placed on his back regularly, especially once he starts to tire. Tony Sims (12-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC, -135 favorite) Fighting out of Team Elevation in Denver, Colorado, Sims was a highly touted prospect while competing for regional promotions in Colorado. He waited a long time to get into the UFC and was ultimately rewarded when the UFC called him to take a short notice fight against Steve Montgomery in June. Taking the fight in a heavier weight class, Sims made good on his short notice debut by putting Montgomery to sleep in the first round. He returned to the Octagon two months later against rising prospect Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Sims struggled throughout the bout, as he was not able to stifle Aubin-Mercier’s grappling. He looks to earn his second UFC win with an impressive performance against Trujillo on Saturday night. The 30-year old employs a boxing-heavy attack inside the cage. He possesses good footwork and switches stances seamlessly, which allows him to close distance quickly. Sims is dangerous with both hands, especially with his straight left, right hook, and overhand right. He has finished all twelve of his wins, including ten by knockout. Sims prefers to strike but he will mix in the occasional takedown to keep his opponent guessing. He has a decent double-leg that he finishes nicely, but is not very dangerous from top position because he does not have a potent submission game and does not pass all that well. The Iowa native is well-conditioned athlete that can push a strong pace for three rounds. Thoughts This should be an exciting fight to kick off UFC 195’s main card. Trujillo’s fights are always entertaining, even when he fails to get his hand raised. Sims is also an entertaining fighter that has a fan-friendly, striking-based style. Trujillo enters this fight with his back against the wall, as he is currently on a two-fight losing streak. His last fight will likely be overturned and ruled a no-contest, but he still needs a win badly. Sims is also looking to get back into the win column after a disappointing loss to Olivier Aubin-Mercier in August. Trujillo is a hard fighter to deal with for the first round or so, but his gas tank is often depleted by the midpoint of the fight. He has a hard time when he is not able to finish his opponent early. Sims is the more conditioned fighter and he also has good defense. I think he will be able to use his superior footwork, shot selection, and boxing to frustrate Trujillo. Sims will go in for the kill once Sims starts to tire, likely in the second or third round. The Prediction: Tony Sims defeats Abel Trujillo by technical knockout (round 3)
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