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We have ourselves a scrap in the Lightweight division, as Ignacio “La Juala” Bahamondes takes on Rong Zhu. Coming off a spectacular performance, capped by an unreal wheel kick knockout with five seconds left in the fight, Bahamondes will grace the octagon with some newfound fuzz behind him. A winner of two of his last three fights, Bahamondes will look to continue on the success of his first UFC victory. Meanwhile, Zhu too comes into this fight off his first UFC victory. While not as spectacular as Bahamondes knockout was, Zhu showcased his well rounded abilities in a dominant stoppage victory over Brandon Jenkins. At 21 years of age with twenty-fights under his belt, Zhu brings a rare blend of experience and youth to the table.
As for a prediction, I have Bahamondes winning. While Zhu has legitimate potential, I believe this is stylistically a tough fight for him. Bahamondes is a dynamic striker, who brings forth excellent output. With nine of his twelve victories coming via knockout, Bahamondes isn’t someone you want to stand across from. Zhu though is a good striker, who has implemented a heavy wrestling attack in his two UFC fights thus far. In fact, he has landed nine takedowns in that span. Given Bahamondes takedown defense has held up thus far, it remains to be seen if Zhu can get him to the mat. If so, then this fight could swing towards Zhu. If not, like I believe, then Bahamondes’ diverse attack and output (7.56 significant strikes per minute) should carry him to a decision victory.