MMAjunkie Radio co-host and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of UFC Fight Night 132’s top bouts. Today, we look at the main card.
UFC Fight Night 132 takes place Saturday at Singapore Indoor Stadium. The card streams live on UFC Fight Pass.
* * * *
Jessica Rose-Clark (9-4 MMA, 2-0 UFC)
Height: 5’5″ Age: 30 Weight: 125 lbs. Reach: 64″
Last fight: Decision win over Paige VanZant (Jan. 14, 2018)
Camp: Syndicate MMA (Las Vegas)
Stance/striking style: Orthodox/muay Thai
Risk management: Fair
+ Regional MMA title
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt
+ 2 KO victories
+ 2 submission wins
+ 1 first-round finish
+ Improved overall striking
^ Good feints and footwork
+ Puts together punches well
^ Will punctuate with leg kicks
+ Strong inside the clinch
+ Serviceable takedown ability
+ Solid top game
^ Trasitions and rides well
+ Active and attacking guard
Jessica Eye (12-6 MMA, 2-5 UFC)
Height: 5’6″ Age: 31 Weight: 125 lbs. Reach: 66″
Last fight: Decision win over Kalindra Faria (Jan. 14, 2018)
Camp: Strong Style Fight Team (Ohio)
Stance/striking style: Orthodox/kickboxing
Risk management: Fair
+ Regional MMA title
+ Amateur boxing experience
+ Amateur MMA accolades
+ 3 KO victories
+ 1 submission win
+ 2 first-round finishes
+ Consistent pace and pressure
+ Solid boxing ability
^ Active jabs, counter-cross
+ Strong inside of the clinch
^ Strikes well off the breaks
+ Shows improved wrestling ability
^ Defensively and offensively
+ Serviceable transitional grappler
Coming off a big win over Paige VanZant, Clark will be looking to further state her case as a top contender in what is the UFC’s newest division. Whereas Eye, who initially competed as a flyweight before entering the organization, is also on the road to contendership to claim her spot in the weight class.
Starting off on the feet, we have a battle between two ladies who aren’t afraid to exchange leather.
Often associated with her boxing abilities, Eye has stayed true to her roots as she’s progressed as a pro in MMA. From her stance to her footwork, the Ohio amateur boxing champion works well behind a healthy dose of feints and prodding jabs.
Once getting a feel for the exchanges, Eye will attach crosses and hooks appropriately, punctuating her combinations with kicks when feeling in stride. The 31-year-old also seems to have a good feel for drawing offense out of her opposition, keeping a counter cross ready at all times.
That said, Eye – despite making concerted efforts with her head movement – has shown that she is not beyond being caught upright with crosses herself, making her meeting with Clark an interesting one within this realm.
A fighter who also primarily had a boxing arsenal early in her career, Clark mainly used her punches to plow her way into the pocket. Now, after moving to Las Vegas to work with John Wood at Syndicate MMA, we have seen the Australian round out her attacks, incorporating hard leg kicks at the beginning and end of improved combinations.
Clark has also worked diligently on her footwork, moving well laterally while seldom throwing herself out of position on the attack. And with her consistent check-knee and hook triggers, the eight-year pro provides a lot of looks that keep her opponents honest.
Nevertheless, Clark will still need to be careful when throwing her patented leg kicks against Eye, who has demonstrated an interest in taking fights to the floor as of late.
Showing off improvements to her offensive wrestling in her last outing, Eye – after being rocked with a head up high – was able to change gears and levels, grounding her opponent when the opportunity arose. If Eye can successfully get Clark down early, then it could be telling of the American’s plan of attack.
Thankfully for Clark, she also shows improved counter wrestling, hustling to fight hands and protect her hips. In fact, both women have proven increasingly difficult to ground when against the fence, something Eye seldom gets credit for given her strength of schedule and outcome against said competition. Still, she will need to respect Clark’s serviceable trip and takedown repertoire, especially if they end up in the clinch.
Clark, who is a sizeable flyweight and former powerlifter, has been competing at bantamweight for the bulk of her career. More importantly, the clinch seems to be a place that the 30-year-old is very comfortable in, winning a lot of her earlier fights with her ability to dictate or capitalize in close.
Both fighters are solid from topside and can hold their own in a scramble, but I do believe there is a more measurable difference in their games from the bottom. Clark appears to have an active and attacking guard, throwing up submissions with immediacy with a backup plan of creating sweeps and scrambles.
Whereas Eye, who – despite stacking up against stiffer competition – has traditionally struggled to get offense or momentum going from underneath. But with the enthusiasm and upgrades Eye displayed in her last outing, I suspect grappling exchanges to be a dogfight regardless who ends up on top.
The oddsmakers and public seem to be favoring the Australian, listing Clark -150 and Eye +130 as of this writing.
No matter who you favor, this is a close fight on paper. Eye has the experience and skills to outwork Clark down the stretch, but her past inconsistencies in regards to in-fight adjustments make me hesitant to pick her here. Should Clark show the ability to shake off early takedown attempts and clinch pressure, then I see her earning a competitive decision win over the American.
Official pick: Clark by decision
- 10 reasons to watch UFC Singapore – even if you're not up for the 4:30 a.m. ET start
- UFC Fight Night 132 staff picks: Only three giving 'Cowboy' the nod over Leon Edwards
- UFC Singapore weigh-in results: 'Cowboy,' Edwards among all 26 to make weight
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: UFC Fight Night 132 main-card breakdown: Scrappy showdowns in Singapore