UFC Fight Night 46 will go down tonight (Sat. July 19, 2014) in the O2 Arena, Dublin, Ireland, and the headlining bout is the much anticipated return of hometown favorite Conor McGregor. Taking on the Brazilian winner of The Ultimate Fighter Diego Brandao, ‘The Notorious’ has been the subject of tons of hype in the lead up to tonight’s show.
Without further ado, let’s see how these two feisty featherweights stack up:
Two varied striking styles will meet in the cage tonight, and I feel that McGregor’s slick boxing is years ahead of Brandao’s rushing style. Although rather heavy handed, we have seen ‘DB’ finished four times by strikes (plus one TKO due to injury), so don’t be surprised if his chin gets put to the test this evening.
A born finisher, ‘The Notorious’ boasts 13 stoppages from 14 wins, and 12 come by way of knockout. With a three inch reach advantage, and a very tricky style on the feet, it would seem that McGregor’s best chance of ending this fight comes in this department. I’m not saying that ‘Ceara’ has a weak chin, but he will certainly have a big test of his beard if he chooses to stand and bang with the Irish slugger. The numbers don’t lie, 60-40 McGregor
The smaller, stockier man in Brandao may have the better body type for explosive takedowns, but don’t be fooled in to thinking that McGregor is easy to take down. In Fact, the Irish man is still yet to be sacked since joining the UFC, and scored four out of five takedowns of his own against Max Holloway last year.
Although most European fighters aren’t often credited with good wrestling, McGregor is part of a more well rounded breed from this side of the Atlantic. This is probably where Brandao will want to put in the most work, and nullify the taller man’s reach, but it won’t be easy. 50-50 on the wrestling
This is where the fight gets interesting, Brandao is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and trains at the famed Jackson’s MMA, and has racked up five submission wins from 18 overall. The most notable submissionwin over Brandao’s career came against Denis Bermudez in the TUF 14 finale; ‘DB’ got rocked and nearly finished on the ground, before pulling off a hail Mary armbar to win the season.
Do not underestimate Conor McGregor though, even with his only losses coming in the form of 2008/10 submissions. ‘The Notorious’ has since earned his purple belt in BJJ and won the Cage Warriors featherweight belt with a 2012 rear naked choke over Dave Hill. That being said, I doubt McGregor will want to test his BJJ against Brandao, and I’m giving a black belt edge of 60-40 to Brandao
The fight looks pretty even on paper, so how do you see it? Will the hype train of Conor McGregor keep rolling, or does Diego Brandao have the chin and submissions to spoil the Irish party tonight?