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We have a barnburner in the Lightweight division, as UFC newcomer Hayisaer Maheshate takes on Steve “Mean Machine” Garcia. After earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series seven month’s ago, Maheshate will finally make his octagon debut. Heading into this bout on a six-fight win streak, the China native comes into this contest with excellent momentum. Meanwhile, Garcia comes into this fight off his first UFC victory. A fight that was chaotic and saw Garcia battle back from two knockdowns to secure a TKO victory. A fellow DWCS alum, Garcia will look to prove that he’s the real deal.

With little tape on Maheshate, my analysis of him solely comes from his fight on Dana White’s Contender Series. A fight in which was dicey early, as Maheshate appeared to be stunned several times. However, Maheshate battled back and took the final two rounds. What I took from his fight, is that he’s got heart and is well conditioned. To get hurt several times and have the cardio to still go a hard fifteen is impressive. What I also gathered is that Maheshate is an active striker, who’s arsenal includes several leg kick variations and flying knee’s. While his takedown defense and ability to get his back off the cage looked good too, his striking defense is the area of concern. Holding his hands low, he can be hit and obviously hurt.

Then there is Garcia, who too knows something about coming back in a fight. Getting dropped twice in his most recent fight, despite controlling nearly 4:30 of the first five minutes, Garcia made his first UFC victory very difficult. Normally a potent striker, who is rangy and versatile, Garcia showed that he does have some wrestling abilities to fall back on. However, make no mistake, with nine of his twelve victories coming via knockout, Garcia comes to stop foes. If there is anything certain in this fight, it’s going to be a slugfest. One that is hard to predict, but I’m ultimately going to back Maheshate. Which is surprising because his level of competition prior to DWCS is dreadful. Yet, his fight on the show impressed me to the point where I believe his level of activity and arsenal on the feet will cause fits for Garcia. So with that said, I predict that Maheshate will win via TKO.

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