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There is a bit of a wildcard feeling in this fight, as Antonio Arroyo has yet to display the striking abilities that got him into the UFC. Given Joaquin Buckley is a striker, it’s fair to assume we will see Arroyo at his best. With a karate stance, Arroyo looks to keep opponents at a distance while peppering a jab and landing high kicks. Physically big for the weight class, Arroyo checks in 6’3. That’s problematic for Buckley, who at 5’10 is already on the smaller size-wise for the Middleweight division. Then again, the powerful striker has delivered two impressive knockouts thus far in the UFC.
As for a prediction, I’m going upset and picking Arroyo. I think the oddsmakers are a little off in this fight. I don’t see Buckley as a moderate favorite, especially given he’s been knocked out in two of his four fights in the UFC. I don’t think it’s necessarily a durability issue with Buckley, more than his style leaves him open to getting tagged. Obviously he does his fair share of tagging opponents too, but in what is expected to be a striking contest, I liken Arroyo’s size and karate style to give Buckley fits. I also believe that since I don’t expect wrestling or grappling in this fight, Arroyo will show off a much better gas tank than he has in his last two fight’s. In the end, I foresee the judges not being needed in this one, as I predict Arroyo wins this slugfest via TKO.