Sunday, October 2, 2022

UFC Greenville Predictions: Moicano vs. Zombie

UFC Greenville Confidence Level Scale

1: Gun to the head, forced to choose 

2: Minimum confidence

3-4: A small level of confidence

5-6: Significantly clearer path to victory for one person.

7 – Strong confidence.

8-9: Extremely confident.

10 – Bulletproof Confidence, barring freak occurrence

Alessio Di Chrico (12-2) vs. Kevin Holland (14-4)

Alessio Di Chirico Keys to Victory:

  • Conserve Power for Opportune Moments
  • Brawl in Spurts
  • Maintain Octagon Control

Kevin Holland Keys to Victory:

  • Pick up Pace in Second Half of Fight
  • Stay at Range
  • Use Ground Game as Plan B or C

The main card of UFC Greenville kicks off with a middleweight bout that has a very high probability of being a big win for fans who like action and unpredictability. You never know what to expect from Kevin Holland from one moment to the next, which can make life more difficult for himself than it needs to be, but is also what has earned him this spot on the main card against another entertaining fighter in Alessio Di Chirico.

Alessio Di Chirico has a clear power advantage over Kevin Holland, and that could be the difference in a fight that will likely be fought mostly, if not exclusively, on the feet. Kevin Holland has a strong ground game but prefers to bang and even requested an opponent with the same mindset for his next fight, and that’s precisely what he will get in Alessio Di Chirico.

Di Chirico has five wins by knockout, but only one of them came in his five-fight UFC career, and that was by way of a Thai clinch knee to the dome of Oluwale Bamgbose. For Di Chirico to win this fight against Kevin Holland, he needs to engage in a brawl but conserve his energy. Kevin Holland is very tough and durable, so walking the balance between all-out brawling and picking his shots will be huge for Di Chirico. He needs to also make it a point of controlling the cage more, which, as the better pressure fighter, he is more likely to do. That could also sway the judges if he ends up in a tight decision, which both fighters were in their last outings.

Kevin Holland should have the cardio advantage and carry more vigor into the second and especially the third round if the fight makes it there. Holland will also be the craftier of the two, and to win this fight, he should oscillate between being a counter striker and a calculated risk taker. Holland’s main path to victory is actually to take the fight to the ground, but Holland loves to bang so that likely won’t happen. Fortunately for him, he is incredibly durable and will have a seven-inch reach advantage, so a standup fight should still play in his favor, even if he has some sticky moments that could have been avoided.

Prediction: Kevin Holland

Confidence Level: 6/10

Andrea Lee (10-2) vs. Montana De La Rosa (10-4)

Andrea Lee Keys to Victory:

  • Do Not Let Takedown Anticipation Freeze Standup
  • Use All Available Limbs
  • Rehearse Timed Knee Attack to Counter Takedown Attempts
  • Follow the Calvillo Blueprint

Montana De La Rosa Keys to Victory:

  • Wrestle at All Costs (Sans Reckless/Desperate Entries)
  • Prioritize Submission Over Ground Damage
  • Chase Submission as if Working Off a Timer
  • Avoid Desperation Takedowns

Both of these women are undefeated in the UFC, with a combined promotional record of 5-0. Lee comes in as the #10-ranked flyweight, with Rosa at #11. A win for either woman could very well place the fighter only a victory or two away from a title shot in the young flyweight division. So who will get the W?

Montana De La Rosa’s game plan is no secret. She is going to look to use her All-American Wrestling, but she won’t stop there. She will also look to use her submission skills that speak louder than a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Eight of De La Rosa’s 10 UFC victories have come by way of submission, and she will need to make it a 9th here because Andrea Lee could very well be the one to take her to deep waters if she doesn’t.

Andrea Lee only has one submission loss, and that came by rear-naked choke. De La Rosa is very dangerous when she has your back and has a good rear-naked choke. She has three RNC victories and threatens well with it, even if she does not complete the choke. De La Rosa does pose a true submission threat on the mat in this fight and should actively look for the finish. She just needs to act fast if she gets Lee down or catch Lee slipping in a transition by outscrambling her.

If you watch Montana De La Rosa’s most recent loss to Cynthia Calvillo, I can foresee a similar outcome to Andrea Lee. Cynthia Calvillo was able to stop the takedowns, tire De La Rosa out, outstrike her, and by the time the fight passed the halfway point, Calvillo simply outgrinded her and outfought her in all aspects. Calvillo was the more well-rounded and gritty mixed martial artist, and it showed. Andrea Lee may not be as skilled as Calvillo on the mat, but I do expect her takedown defense to hold up in similar fashion and for her to be able to get back up if De La Rosa takes her down.

Andrea Lee is very good at returning to her feet and is by far the better striker in this fight. I’m expecting some desperation takedowns from De La Rosa, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Lee times a knee during one of De La Rosa’s entries, as Lee is an eight-limb fighter who will throw everything at her opponent, especially if she knows what’s coming.  I’m expecting De La Rosa to freeze after being unsuccessful in having a mat battle and for Andrea Lee to tee off and maybe even get the finish.

Prediction: Andrea Lee

Confidence Level: 6/10

Bryan Barberena (14-6) vs. Randy Brown (10-3)

Bryan Barberena Keys to Victory:

  • Do Not Stop Pressuring
  • Brawl
  • Close the Distance
  • Be Open to Morphing to Grappling-Dominant Strategy

Randy Brown Keys to Victory:

  • Distance Control
  • Add Knees and Elbows to Kickboxing Attack
  • Sacrifice Power for Accuracy to Save Energy
  • Mange Cardio in General
  • Look for D’Arce or Guillotine Choke if Barberena Grapples

It is paramount that Bryan Barberana closes the distance if he is to win this fight. Whether that means grinding out a decision with a grappling-heavy game plan or outbrawling the more technically sound striker, he is only able to do either if he closes that distance. Barberena will need to use some relentless pressure and not be deterred when Randy Brown lands. You can file that in the “easier said than done” cabinet, but if someone can take that advice without flinching, it’s Barberena.

Barberena was stopped in his last fight against Vicente Luque, but it took an incredible effort by Luque to put Barberena away, and it didn’t come until the final 10 seconds of the fight and 163 strikes later. Barberena was on his way to victory, though, by doing what he should do against Randy Brown when the fight is standing: pressure and brawl. Barberena needs to make it an ugly fight and if Brown’s distance control and length advantage makes that too difficult, Barberena needs to take off his crowd-pleaser hat to try to earn a victory through grappling.

Randy Brown will enter the fight with a 5 ½ reach advantage and as the crisper and superior technical striker as well being the better athlete. Distance control will be the story in this fight, and not putting everything behind the jab to ensure that he will have enough in the tank to continue to stay sharp and crisp for all 15 minutes is what Brown will need to do here. Barberena is very tough, so Brown should not exert too much energy chasing a big KO. Brown should look to not limit himself to his hands but also throw some lunging knees, kicks wherever there are openings, in addition to those long jabs to the shorter Barberena. Brown also is not bad in standing grappling exchanges, and with his long limbs a choke is a definite possibility. But once Barberena gets him on his back, that would be a different story.

Ultimately, I do not believe Brown’s movement will be enough to keep Barberena’s pressure from making the difference in the fight. As fights go on, Barberena usually gets better or stays roughly the same, but Brown fades. I also do not believe Brown will be able to put away the durable Barberena. I’m not sure how exactly it gets done, but I do believe that pressure, durability, toughness, cardio, experience, and a better overall game plan execution will get Bryan Barberena the W one way or another.

Prediction: Bryan Barbareana

Confidence Level; 3.5/10

Renato Moicano (13-2-1) vs. Chan Sung Jung (14-5)

Renato Moicano Keys to Victory

  • Heavy Movement
  • Leg Kicks
  • Careful Strike Selections

Korean Zombie Keys to Victory

  • Bait & Counterstrike
  • Power Shots to Head and Torso
  • Respond with Bursts when Moicano Throws Isolated Strikes

The most important question in this fight for me is: What will be Renato Moicano’s game plan be? Because when Renato Moicano fights intelligently and sticks to an effective game plan, he is incredibly difficult to beat and is not the type of fighter whom you can just march forward and knock out.

Sometimes predictions are based on what you assume a fighter will do. And without knowing what the fight will look like, I am going to assume that Renato Moicano will not stand right in front of The Korean Zombie and will fight similarly to how he did against Jeremy Stephens: high on movement, fighting off the back foot, and counterstriking. Moicano should look to implement leg kicks in the fight to score points and generally not get lured into a slugout with Zombie.

Korean Zombie should look to bait Renato Moicano throughout the fight and become more of a counterstriker than usual. Moicano usually doesn’t throw in combinations, so following a jab, Zombie should look to counter with power shots, including to the body. Zombie will have a power advantage, and if the fight does not go the distance, it will likely be because of a Zombie KO. Posturing, baiting, and countering with power is Zombie’s best chance at victory, but it is not his only one. He is more than capable of fighting his usual fight and outstriking Moicano, especially if Moicano does not implement a high-movement game plan.

This is a very tough one to call. I believe Moicano will win more minutes of the fight than The Korean Zombie, perhaps by implementing the type of strategy described for him: high movement, implementing leg kicks, fighting off the back foot. He is also capable of beating Zombie by standing with him conventionally, even though that would not be his leading path to victory. However, I do believe that Zombie is more likely to get the finish, particularly in the later rounds or potentially even win a very narrow decision despite Moicano perhaps getting the better of the statistics.

Prediction: Chan Sung Jung

Confidence Level: 2/10

Preliminary Card Predictions:

Andre Ewell over Anderson Dos Santos

Confidence Level: 4/10

Eric Spicely over Deron Winn

Confidence Level: 1/10

Molly McCann over Ariane Lipski

Confidence Level: 3/10

Jairzinho Rozenstrunk over Allen Crowder

Confidence Level: 2/10

Luis Pena over Matt Wiman

Confidence Level: 3/10

Ashley Yoder over Syuri Kondo

Confidence Level: 2/10

Kevin Aguilar over Dan Ige

Confidence Level: 4/10

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