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We have a scrap in the Light Heavyweight division, as Nick Negumereanu takes on promotional newcomer Ihor Potieria. Since dropping his UFC debut, Negumereanu has quietly rattled off three consecutive wins. Nearing a top fifteen fight, Negumereanu will have to first hold off a young upstart. Meanwhile, Potieria makes his UFC debut on the heels of a seventeen-fight win streak. Having defeated opponents with a combined record of 60-66 over that span, it remains to be seen if the Ukrainian has what it takes to fight at this level.
This should be an intriguing fight, and one that the judges may not be required. Negumereanu is a fairly well rounded fighter, who came into the UFC with some wrestling and Judo chops. However, it’s largely been his striking that has gotten the job done. Backed by immense durability, Negumereanu has somehow managed to absorb 5.92 strikes per minute, yet win three fights. A definite concern moving forward, especially considering his striking defense is 38%. Looking to test that chin is Potieria. A striker, who boasts power and output, Potieria has won ten of twenty victories via knockout. No slouch on the ground either, Potieria has some vicious ground-and-pound and is a submission threat. What is concerning, other than his lack of competition throughout his career, is the Ukrainian’s defense. Often leaving himself open to get countered and tag, as well as taken down, Potieria will have to improve upon those abilities fast if he wants to be a champion in the UFC.
Knowing that this fight could end on a dime, it’s somewhat tough to predict. However, knowing Negumereanu has an iron chin and has already absorbed 274 strikes in four UFC fights, I’m not as certain that he will be the one who gets stopped. With experience inside the octagon and given Potieria’s lack thereof competition outside of it, I’m going to predict that Negumereanu wins this fight via knockout.
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