Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight scrappers Chris Camozzi and Vitor Miranda will battle this Sunday (May 29, 2016) at UFC 198 inside Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Since returning to UFC as a sacrifice to "Jacare," Camozzi has won a pair of bouts. Now, he's looking to build on that win streak and potentially earn a position inside the rankings. Unexpectedly, Miranda is on his own three-fight win streak and has finished each of his wins inside the Octagon. Like his opponent, Miranda is looking for the chance to take a big step up in competition following this bout.
Let's take a look at the keys to victory for both men:
Key Wins: 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), Rafael Natal (UFC Fight Night 50), Bruno Santos (UFC 175)
Keys to Victory: Camozzi is a tough jack of all trades. He's far from the most athletic fighter on the roster, but Camozzi pushes a solid pace and is difficult to overwhelm. If there's one skill that stands out, it's Camozzi's Muay Thai. He's finished seven of his opponents via knockout, with victories both in the clinch and at range.
In this bout, Camozzi has a difficult match up ahead of him. His opponent is a former kickboxing and Muay Thai champion, which makes Camozzi's preferred style of fighting difficult. Plus, Miranda is the more technical and powerful hitter.
Luckily, Camozzi is the far younger fighter. He's also more durable and has a conditioning edge. Together, those skills can help him steal this bout. To defeat the tough Brazilian, Camozzi needs to push the pace and force exchanges. He should also pressure his opponent into the clinch, which is an exhausting place to fight and will limit his foe's powerful kicks.
He may take some shots early, but Camozzi has a real opportunity to take over late.
Key Wins: Clint Hester (UFC 190), Marcelo Guimares (UFC 196)
Key Losses: Antonio Carlos Junior (TUF Brazil 3 Finale)
Keys to Victory: A kickboxing veteran with over 30 fights, Miranda is a very devastating striker. He's not helpless in grappling exchanges, but it's very clear where Miranda wants the fight to take place.
In this bout, Miranda is at a major stylistic advantage. However, he needs to realize that he's facing a durable and tough opponent, so managing his energy is quite important. With his skill and athleticism advantage, Miranda doesn't need to match his opponent's volume. Instead, Miranda should pick his shots carefully, intending to land the more powerful and impressive shots.
Additionally, I'd like to see Miranda do his best to break down Camozzi's body and leg. The American has a solid jawline, but those strikes will still slow him down and make it far more difficult to capitalize on his own advantages later in the fight.
Bottom Line: This is sure to be a solid scrap between veteran strikers.
Camozzi's UFC career has certainly had some ups-and-downs, but the 29-year-old now has six years of experience inside the Octagon. He's an established fighter, but Camozzi is looking to finally earn a position inside the rankings.
He'll need to a win here, and perhaps a couple more.
On the other hand, a loss here doesn't lose him much in the standings. It does, however, force him to build another win streak before getting a chance to step up in competition.
The stakes are quite a bit higher for the 37-year-old Miranda. He's on a significant win streak, and a win over a longtime UFC veteran like Camozzi undoubtedly earns him a step up in competition.
However, a loss would be quite disappointing for the Brazilian. At his age -- especially considering the 40 total fights in his combat career -- it's unlikely that he has a lot of time left before falling off. Therefore, he doesn't have the time to start over, so it's either now-or-never to climb the ladder.
At UFC Fight Night 88, Chris Camozzi and Vitor Miranda will throw down. Which fighter will have his hand raised?