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We have a clash in the Featherweight division, as TJ “Downtown” Browns takes on Shayilan “Wolverine” Nuerdanbieke. After dropping the first two fights in the UFC, Brown has bounced back with two straight wins. The most recent being impressive, as he defeated a veteran in Charles Rosa. Staring at a three-fight win streak, bigger fights are on the horizon should he prevail. Meanwhile, Nuerdanbieke comes into this fight on the heels of his first UFC victory. A fight in which Nuerdanbieke started out slow, but took over during the last two rounds. The victory was Nuerdanbieke’s thirty-sixth as a professional, which at only 28 years old is pretty remarkable.
I feel like a broken record, but this card is full of close fights that hinge on a certain aspect. Brown is a wrestler and a dangerous submission threat. Not one to go to the scorecards often, Brown has won thirteen of his sixteen victories via stoppage. He has also been stopped in six of his eight losses, as his durability and cardio are major red flags. Coincidentally, Nuerdanbieke suffers from a lack of durability himself, as he has been stopped in eight of his ten losses. With six of them coming via submission, Brown certainly is licking his chops at testing Nuerdanbieke’s submission defense. Besides that flaw, Nuerdanbieke is a strong wrestler, who looks to grind down opponents. Not one to mix it up on the feet too long, Nuerdanbieke isn’t shy about spamming takedown attempts.
As for a prediction, I have Brown winning. In a fight between two wrestlers, Nuerdanbieke is the one who is more reliant on takedowns as a path to victory than Brown. And seeing how Nuerdanbieke struggled early in the fight against Sean Soriano, who’s takedown is abysmal, I’ll take Brown to scramble his way out of any attempts Wolverine throws his way. With better striking, I expect Brown to keep this fight upright and to inflict the most damage – leading to a decision victory.