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A clash in the Featherweight division division see’s Makwan Amirkhani take on Jonathan Pearce. Coming off an important victory in his career, one in which halted a three-fight skid, Amirkhani returns to the octagon looking to continue his winning ways. Starting his UFC career 5-1, there is still hope that the 33-year old Amirkhani can make some noise at 145 pounds. Meanwhile, Pearce comes into this fight looking to continue his climb up the totem. A winner of three straight and eight of his last nine, Pearce has been on a tear. Adding another victory in this bout, over a veteran like Amirkhani, would align Pearce with a top fifteen foe next.
This is an intriguing fight in the Featherweight division, that has two very realistic scenario’s. One, the grappling and submission ace Amirkhani gets this fight down to mat. From there, his control and submission prowess see him either bank two rounds or put a halt to this fight. Two, the wrestling workhorse that is Pearce, uses his heavy pace and cardio to outlast the fading Amirkhani. While normally, option two is something in which I have favored, especially considering Amirkhani’s gas tank being so poor. Seeing Pearce be taken down twice and almost submitted a few times in his most recent fight against a debutant, I am concerned that he can be caught.
With that said, I’m going on a limb here and picking Amirkhani. Knowing all to well that he will fade in the later rounds, and probably get finished by a cardio machine-like Pearce, I have an inkling that Amirkhani will get this fight to mat early and have his chance to put a halt to this bout. With twelve of his seventeen wins coming via submission, as well as two of Pearce’s losses coming via submission, the ingredients are there for Amirkhani to get it done. My prediction, while knowing the danger, is Amirkhani tapping out Pearce.