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The lone Flyweight tilt on the card, see’s a pair of ranked fighters in Matt Schnell and Su Mudaerji clash. Coming off a “Fight of the Night” defeat to Brandon Royval, which only lasted 134 seconds, Schnell returns to octagon looking to get back on track. Still ranked eighth, Schnell remains in a position where a two or three fight winning streak could be enough to warrant a title shot. Meanwhile, Mudaerji comes into this bout on a three-fight win streak. Having only fought four times since November of 2018, due to injuries and cancellations, the rise of Mudaerji has been a slow build. Perhaps healthy now and with an opportunity to crack the top ten, Mudaerji can generate some real buzz with a victory.
This is a fun fight, and one that could go either way. Schnell is a well rounded fighter, who despite mainly striking, has exceptional grappling abilities. With eight of fifteen wins coming via submission, it’s strange to me that he doesn’t incorporate his ground game often. Instead, Schnell elects to strike. With speed and volume, Schnell has proven he’s got the skills to win on the feet. However, it’s also where he’s been most vulnerable. In ten UFC fights, which includes a no contest, Schnell has lost four times – all of which have been via stoppage. Looking to test that durability is Mudaerji. A striker, with excellent size for a Flyweight, Mudaerji has been known for his finishing prowess. With thirteen of his sixteen wins coming via knockout, Mudaerji isn’t one to mess around with on the feet. The knock though on Mudaerji, is his grappling. Having lost all four of his losses via submission, Mudaerji doesn’t want any part of being on the ground with Schnell.
There could be several dicey moments in this fight for either man, but ultimately it’s Mudaerji who I believe gets the job done. Grappling issues aside, Mudaerji’s takedown defense is good enough to thwart off Schnell – who has only landed two takedowns in ten UFC fights. Given Schnell’s reluctance to strike, I like Mudaerji’s chances at cracking the American’s suspect chin. With that said, I predict Mudaerji makes it four straight, winning via knockout.