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We have a clash in the Heavyweight division, as Don’Tale Mayes takes on promotional newcomer Hamdy Abdelwahab. After dropping his first two UFC fights, Mayes tenure in the UFC was looking bleak. Given a third crack, Mayes made good on that, defeating Roque Martinez. Following that victory up with a stoppage victory over Josh Parisian, Mayes picked up his first winning streak in the UFC. On the rise and looking to continue his climb up the totem, Mayes will have to hold off a UFC debutant in Abdelwahab. A former Greco-Roman Olympic wrestler, who is a perfect 3-0 in mixed martial arts. With five amateur fights, as well as two bare knuckle bouts, Abdelwahab has dabbled in other avenues to gain experience. Believing in the potential clearly though is the UFC, who has been looking for future talent over experience of late.

This is an intriguing fight, and a stylistic clash. Mayes is a striker, who has a diverse attack. With good footwork and power too, it’s no surprise that Mayes has won five of his nine victories via knockout. Showing off improvement in his wrestling against Parisian, landing 6 takedowns, Mayes is beginning to evolve inside the octagon. The concerns though with Mayes, has been his defensive wrestling and grappling. It’s what cost him in his first two appearances in the UFC and will certainly be tested in this fight against Abdelwahab. With an excellent wrestling background and immense physical strength, Abdelwahab is going to be a problem for many Heavyweight’s. While his striking needs work, often throwing one punch at a time and loading up with the right hand, with more experience, the Egyptian could turn himself into a formidable threat on the feet.

I’m a little wary in this prediction, but I’m going to side with Abdelwahab. Knowing Mayes has clearly worked on his wrestling, it’s a definite sign in the right direction for him. However, defensively speaking, I’m not sure he will be able to keep this fight upright. Abdelwahab is a tank, who is exceptionally strong and will bully many fighters to the mat. Hard to shake off in top control, Abdelwahab has the ability to grind out opponents or land some vicious ground-and-pound. With that said, I predict that Abdelwahab will win via TKO.

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