clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC 236 card: Alan Jouban vs Dwight Grant full fight preview

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight scrappers Alan Jouban and Dwight Grant will duel this Saturday (April 13, 2019) at UFC 236 from State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.

This bout has a classic-but-fun dynamic to it: a battle of technique vs. power. Though Jouban is the man representing technique in this comparison, it should also be noted that the Versace model does hit pretty damn hard himself, resulting in 10 knockout wins. The veteran’s slick Muay Thai will compete with Grant’s gigantic frame and natural knockout power. “The Body Snatcher” still has a lot to learn in terms of competing minute-to-minute inside the cage, but it is clear that Grant has incredible physical gifts and only needs to land a single clean blow to change the fight instantly.

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

Alan Jouban

Record: 16-6
Key Wins: Mike Perry (UFC on FOX 22), Belal Muhammad (UFC Fight Night 90), Seth Baczynski (UFC Fight Night 47)
Key Losses: Gunnar Nelson (UFC Fight Night 107), Niko Price (UFC Fight Night 114), Albert Tumenov (UFC 192)
Keys to Victory: Jouban is a very skilled and crafty Muay Thai striker with a background in jiu-jitsu as well. In general, “Brahma” prefers to be all-the-way-out or all-the-way-in, avoiding that middle distance where his questionable durability is more likely to come into play. At distance, Jouban picks his shots well with low kicks and counter straights — see his excellent and strategic win over “Platinum” Perry — whereas he’s a mauler inside the clinch with brutal elbows.

This is a difficult match up for Jouban. Make no mistake, Jouban is the far more experienced and technical man: he’s likely to win a majority of the exchanges at any distance. However, Grant has a 76 inch reach and carries massive power at the end of his punches, meaning there’s little room for error.

Pushing forward toward the clinch seems to guarantee that Jouban will be cracked on the way inside, so kickboxing with the rangier man seems the better plan. So far, Grant has shown too much patience and a willingness to fight to his opponent's pace. Jouban can capitalize upon those bad habits, crafting a low-output fight that allows his technique to win small exchanges and his low kicks to cut into some of that knockout power.

Let the boo birds sing!

Dwight Grant

Record: 9-2
Key Wins: Carlo Pedersoli (UFC on ESPN+ 3), Tyler Hill (DWTNCS 2018)
Key Losses: Zak Ottow (UFC on FOX 31)
Keys to Victory: This will be Grant’s third UFC fight in five months, which I thought to be some rapid scheduling considering it appears that Grant needs more time in the gym to better understand his own game. Then, I saw the tiny detail that this “prospect” with just 11 professional fights was actually 34 years of age with a pro career dating back to 2011.

The UFC is not wasting a moment; it’s sink-or-swim time.

There is no complicated strategy needed in this fight. Grant hits absurdly hard and is facing an opponent who tends to go down when his foes connect clean. “The Body Snatcher” has to avoid a slow-paced, rangy duel — he needs to go after Jouban just like Niko Price did. If Grant is moving forward and throwing in combination, there’s a strong chance he ends this in the first round.

In his debut loss, Grant threw very little and allowed Zak Ottow to outpoint him (sorta) despite denying every takedown attempt and never being the least bit threatened. Grant cannot play his opponent’s game and hope to win now that he’s at a high-level of competition; he must force the issue.

Bottom Line: Two Welterweight knockout artists in their mid-30s are hoping to make an impact on the division.

Jouban can afford no more setbacks. It’s been three years since his three-fight win streak saw him gain momentum toward contention, but Jouban has only fought three times in that period. If there’s any chance “Brahma” is more than an action fighter at 170 pounds, he must win here and continue building a new win streak.

Given his age, Grant does not have a ton of time either. UFC is trying to determine whether Grant can make the necessary adjustments quickly — given his frame and talent, Grant seems like he could be a special fighter. He’s unlikely to get more than a small amount of chances to prove it, however, putting some real pressure on Grant to perform on Saturday.

At UFC 236, Alan Jouban and Dwight Grant will go to war. Which man will remain standing when the dust settles?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania