That’s right lads and lasses, it’s time for another English version of the Downes Side. Live from Manchester Arena, the UFC brings some late-night fights at UFC 204. In the main event of the evening, Michael Bisping defends his middleweight title for the first time against Dan Henderson. We’ll examine that fight and a few others.
LEON EDWARDS VS. ALBERT TUMENOV
We start in the welterweight division with Leon Edwards and Albert Tumenov. A southpaw striker, “Rocky” Edwards defends significant strikes at a rate of 57.92 percent, which is about 56 percent higher than Rocky Balboa. Tumenov saw his five-fight win streak disappear at the hands of a Gunnar Nelson neck crank back in May.
When you see an English fighter against a Russian one, the prejudiced one in you might jump to conclusions about wrestling. This time around you’re only half right. Both fighters have solid wrestling defense, but they’re not particularly adept offensively. Edwards hit some outside trip takedowns in his last fight, but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to hit those against Tumenov.
In terms of striking, Edwards has great head movement, but underutilized leg movement. He plants himself heavy to the mat and doesn’t advance well. This especially happens when he overcommits on his left hand. Tumenov can be passive at times (that was his biggest mistake against Nelson), but his greatest attribute is his counterstriking. When he answers, he comes with fluid, powerful combinations. Tumenov gets back in the win column with a second-round TKO.
Thumbnail photo via Per Haljestam/USA TODAY Sports Images