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In the Lightweight division, we have a showdown between Rafa ‘Gifted’ Garcia and UFC newcomer Natan Levy. After coming into the UFC undefeated, Garcia has learned the hard way that this isn’t the regional scene. Two fights in the UFC, two losses. With his back up against the wall, Garcia will need to win to remain with the promotion. Meanwhile, Levy comes into his UFC debut with a perfect 6-0 record. The former LFA standout will however jump up a weight class, as five of his six fights came at Featherweight. With momentum coming into this fight and Garcia slumping, Levy may have the upperhand despite weight class.
This is a tough fight to call, and the oddsmakers agree given it’s a near pick’em. Rafa Garcia came into the UFC with some steam, and while had a tough opponent in his debut, it was more the second fight that kind of changed perspectives. Not to discredit Chris Gruetzemacher, but Garcia was a -330 favorite for a reason in that fight. Regardless, he will get a third chance at a UFC victory against UFC debutant Natan Levy. A rather inexperienced fighter, Levy made the most of his opportunity in Dana White’s Contender Series. He submitted Shaheen Santana in the third round, earning a contract in the process. The one concern I have for Levy, is that other than the DWCS fight, he had predominantly fought at Featherweight.
As for a prediction, I have Garcia winning. As the more natural Lightweight and with excellent cardio, I feel like he will be able to grind down Levy. Obviously the Gruetzemacher fights looms in the back of my mind, but Garcia literally beat Estevan Payan, Erick Gonzalez and Humberto Bandenay before being signed by the UFC. For anyone’s count, that’s two former UFC fighters and one current. Regardless, with his job on the line, I expect Garcia to fight with urgency to win. Using his size and wrestling, I predict Garcia will win via decision.