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UFC Fight Night 101 fight card: Chris Camozzi vs Dan Kelly full fight preview

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Camozzi vs Miranda Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight veterans Chris Camozzi and Dan Kelly will throw down this Saturday (Nov. 26, 2016) at UFC Fight Night 101 inside Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

After putting together a solid three-fight win streak, Camozzi earned a Top 10 match up. Once again, the kickboxer came up short in that contest at the hands of Thales Leites, and now he must return to the grind in an attempt to receive another big opportunity. On the other hand, Kelly somehow has won four of his five UFC fights. It’s something of a mystery as to how the 39-year-old keeps pulling through, but he’s nevertheless earned a step up in competition.

Let’s take a look at the keys to victory for both men:

Chris Camozzi
Record: 25-11
Key Wins: Vitor Miranda (UFC Fight Night 88), Joe Riggs (UFC Fight Night 83), Nick Ring (UFC 158), Luiz Cane (UFC 153)
Key Losses: Ronaldo Souza (UFC on FX 8, UFC on FOX 15), Thales Leites (UFC Fight Night 92), Rafael Natal (UFC Fight Night 50)
Keys to Victory: Camozzi is a dangerous Muay Thai striker with a solid grappling game. He's not the most athletic fighter around, but Camozzi's toughness and well-rounded skill set have seen him score some solid wins inside the Octagon.

Camozzi really shouldn't have any major problems in this match up. He's got the type of rangy kickboxing that will make closing the distance difficult for the Judoka, and he's the far superior striker with more proven finishing power. It's important that Camozzi doesn't allow his foe to get comfortable or build momentum. Kelly thrives when able to exploit openings, but Camozzi can shut that down by constantly whacking him with kicks from a distance.

Kelly probably won't have much of an answer.

In addition, Camozzi should immediately look to land knees or break away if his opponent looks to clinch. If he can nullify that aspect of Kelly's game, there's not much left to threaten him.

VS.

Dan Kelly
Record: 10-1
Key Wins: Antonio Carlos Junior (UFC Fight Night 85), Luke Zachrich (UFC Fight Night 55), Steve Montgomery (UFC 193)
Key Losses: Sam Alvey (UFC Fight Night 65)
Keys to Victory: I have nothing against Dan Kelly, but I won't pretend this his continued success doesn't confuse me a bit. His run on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) was uninspiring, his Judo hasn't translated all that consistently, and Kelly strikes with the fluidity of a man worn down by decades of hard training.

Nonetheless, he's 4-1 inside the Octagon. The Australian has proven that being a large, tough bastard is still worth some wins inside the Octagon. Once again, Kelly seems to have his back on the wall. He's facing a taller, longer striker who has only really lost to top 15, and that's a difficult task to overcome.

To upset Camozzi, Kelly needs to get inside the kicking range and go to work. He's got some natural power in his hands, and that's something Camozzi will be forced to respect. If he can move past the kicks and force Camozzi to cover up a bit, that would help set up his entrance into the clinch or double leg.

If Kelly can get on top, he's proven to be a strong man who's difficult to move around.

Bottom Line: It’s a scrap between Middleweights looking to break out of the middle of the division.

Camozzi has some skill, and he’s largely been a notch above most Middleweights outside the rankings. He’ll need to prove that once again in this match up and negate Kelly’s habit of playing spoiler. If Camozzi wins this bout, he’s not far off from another match up with a Top 15 athlete. However, a loss would be a major setback, and it would take another good win streak to return him to his current position.

Proving the odds wrong multiple times, Kelly continues his climb. If he can topple Camozzi, who can deny him an opportunity in the cage with a ranked opponent? It probably won’t end well for him, but he definitely would have earned it. Should the Australian come up short, nothing really changes for him. He loses momentum, but he won’t slide down the division or anything. He’s not likely to go on a title run anyway, so momentum isn’t all that important for the vet.

At UFC Fight Night 101, Chris Camozzi and Dan Kelly will scrap. Which man will have his hand raised?