Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at the opening fight on the UFC on Fox 20 card as Brazilian Luiz Henrique welcomes Russian Dmitry Smolyakov to the UFC.   Dmitry Smolyakov Hometown: Kalingrad, Russia Age: 33 Height: 6’2” Reach: N/A Weight Class: Heavyweight Camp: Baltic Challenge Team Career Record: 8-0 Key Wins: None Key Losses: None Background A Master of Sport in both freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling, Dmitry Smoliakov has an advanced wrestling game for MMA. The undefeated heavyweight has won all eight of his fights inside the distance. Strengths

  • Fast hands with an effective jab
  • Knockout power on the feet
  • Knows how to finish
  • Strong offensive wrestling game
  • Solid takedown defense

  Weaknesses

  • Slow on his feet
  • Very low level of competition

 

GradeSmolyakov

    Match-up against Luis Henrique The opening bout of Fox 20 features two fighters with established wrestling backgrounds. Henrique is both accomplished in jiu-jitsu as well as participating on Brazil’s wrestling team. The Russian, Dmitry Smolyakov, is a Master of Sport in wrestling. In a bout where both fighters are good enough to stuff takedowns, I expect this bout to take place primarily on the feet. Both fighters are pretty athletic which should make this a decently paced contest on the feet. The difference lies is in the power of the strikes. The Russian fighter has much better hands and is the quicker to release. Smolyakov does well ot counter opponents with a quick jab as his opponents come in to strike. I expect him to be able to do the same against Henrique. At some point in the early portion of this fight, Smolyakov will be able to stun Henrique on the feet and once he does that he does an excellent job at swarming and throwing a fury of strikes to finish the fight. UFC Ceiling Smolyakov is certainly one of the older fighters to make his debut at nearly 34 years of age. However, in the heavyweight division, 34 can be seen as on the younger side of the division. Making his MMA debut just three years ago, Smolyakov appears to be a bit of a late bloomer to the sport. He’s got solid fundamentals. He’s shown to be a capable striker as well as grappler. His level of competition certainly leaves a lot to be desired, but his finishing instinct is really impressive and is something that should translate in the UFC. What we’ll need to see is how Smolyakov does when he’s not able to finish and have to fight a three round fight. Conditioning is certainly a significant factor in how well the Russian fares in his UFC career. Fight Film Check out Dmitry Smolyakov in some of his most recent fights:   Dmitry Smolyakov vs. Lukas Batovsky Dmitry Smolyakov vs. Pierre Louis


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