Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at American Grigor Gillespie as he takes on TUF Brazil 4 lightweight winner Glaico Franca at Fight Night 95 in Brasilia, Brazil. Gregor “The Gift” Gillespie Hometown: Webster, New York Age: 29 Height: 5’9” Reach: Weight Class: Lightweight Camp: Bellmore Kickboxing Academy Career Record: 7-0 Key Wins: None Key Losses: None Background A four time All American Wrestler at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, Gillespie is one of the most credentialed American wrestlers ever in the lightweight division. He won the NCAA Championship in 2007 at 149 pounds. He holds Edinboro’s record for wins in a career amassing a whopping 153 wins. Only competing in MMA since 2014, Gillespie has quickly compiled a solid record and enters the UFC the Ring of Combat Lightweight Champion; one of the top regional promotions in the United States. Strengths

  • NCAA Champion Caliber wrestler
  • Excellent double takedown
  • Chains his wrestling attempts very well
  • Solid ground and pound

Weaknesses

  • Limited striking
  • Question marks surround his game when not in dominant top control
  • Struggles at holding top position

 

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  Match-up against Glaico Franca Interesting matchup in Brazil sees TUF Brazil alumnus Glaico Franca welcome highly acclaimed collegiate wrestler Gregor Gillespie into the UFC. Franca has done an excellent job in the UFC showing off his grappling game with four takedowns in each of his first two fights in the promotion. He’s going to have real difficulty getting anywhere near those totals in his bout at Fight Night 95 as Gillespie is a fantastic offensive wrestler. The former NCAA Division 1 Champion has one of the best double leg takedowns in the division. He shoots in with speed and does an excellent job committing to his attempts. Neither fighter offers much on the feet and do not throw in volume to believe this fight will be decided on the feet. Both of these fighters do their best work on the ground and I expect this to be a grappling contest. Gillespie will have success in securing takedowns in this bout. His explosion into his attempts is not like anything Franca has seen in his career. While Gillespie will be the one who will force the fight to the ground, it really gets interesting there. Franca has the much better jiu jitsu game and is a great scrambler to go along with it. I expect Franca to be able to reverse positions in this bout and threaten Gillespie in that regard. Gillespie is still rather green and it’s very possible he gives up his neck in a scramble allowing Franca to lock in a submission. If he avoids the submission, Gillespie has the better gas tank and will have more time in top control to get a decision win. There are enough unknowns in this fight to avoid betting this one. This is a classic watch and learn fight. UFC Ceiling Gregor Gillespie is a fighter who enters the UFC with a good amount of buzz. Any fighter who is as good a wrestler as Gillespie is will be one to watch in this sport. He has the ability to take down nearly any opponent he faces and that’s a major advantage. Having only started competing in MMA a couple years ago, the rest of his game is still very raw. He appears to have decent technique in his boxing, but it’s not very advanced. He doesn’t put together combinations at all and everything is to setup his takedowns attempts. Gillespie, as currently developed, can compete in the UFC with mid-tier talent, but will need to make his striking serviceable if he’s going to develop into a top 15 lightweight. Fight Film Check out Gregor Gillespie in some of his most recent fights: Gregor Gillespie vs. Jose Mariscal   Gregor Gillespie vs. Sidney Outlaw


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