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In the Lightweight division, we have a clash between Claudio ‘El Nino’ Puelles and Chris ‘Gritz’ Gruetzemacher. Coming into this fight on a three-fight win streak, Puelles has quietly built some momentum in the stacked Lightweight division. While there is much more work to be done, a fourth consecutive victory could very lead to something big for the Peruvian. Meanwhile, Gruetzemacher has won two of his last three fights, both of which he was the underdog in. The most recent victory over Rafa Garcia was impressive, and perhaps saved his job in the UFC. Had Gruetzemacher lost, he would have been 1-4 in his last five.

Prediction

This is one of the tougher fights to predict, as both men couldn’t be more different. Claudio Puelles is a grappler, whose intentions are strictly to get the fight down to the mat and control you. Averaging 3.35 takedowns per fifteen minutes, Puelles has largely been successful at doing so. In fact, Puelles has landed a combined eight takedowns and has nearly maintained 23.5 minutes of control time in his last two fights. Knowing all that, Gruetzemacher is going to have to do a better job at keeping this fight upright than he has in the past. With a 61% takedown defense and having been taken down five times in his last fight, there is a good chance that Puelles will find success. The one concern is the Peruvian’s cardio

As for a prediction, I have Gruetzemacher winning. While I believe he will be taken down early and often, as the fight wanes, Gruetzemacher will start to shrug off Puelles’ takedown attempts and batter the Peruvian on the feet. In what I believe to be a battle of nutrition, it’s Gruetzemacher’s cardio that will aid him to victory in the third round. Let’s say via TKO.

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