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UFC on ESPN 5 card: Trevin Giles vs Gerald Meerschaert full fight preview

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Rochester-Cummings vs Giles Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight talents Trevin Giles and Gerald Meerschaert will throw down this Saturday (August 3, 2019) at UFC on ESPN 5 from inside Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Giles, 26, is one of the better prospects on the Middleweight roster, a very athletic striker with a strong wrestling background. In his last fight, Giles was cruising toward his twelfth straight victory as a professional, but a big overhand and subsequent guillotine choke in the final minute ended his undefeated run. Meanwhile, Meerschaert is seven fights deep into his UFC career. While the submission ace may not be headed for title contention anytime soon, “GM3” has proven a gutsy and valuable member of the roster, one who can largely promise that his bout will not see the judges’ scorecards.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:

Trevin Giles

Record: 11-1
Key Wins: Antonio Braga Neto (UFC Fight Night 123), Ryan Spann (LFA 3), James Bochnovic (UFC 213)
Key Losses: Zak Cummings (UFC on ESPN+ 10)
Keys to Victory: Giles may have lost to a rough-and-tumble vet in Cummings, but don’t mistake that setback for a mark against his potential. Giles is at his best when dumping his foes to their back and beating them senseless, but he did show a lot of improvement in the stand up last time out.

Meerschaert is a hyper aggressive fighter — of his 39 total fights, only four have gone to a decision. In short, that means he really forces the fight, taking major risks to pursue the finish, and he’s willing to take damage to gain strong positions.

Meerschaert is willing to absorb shots, so Giles need simply deliver them. Giles’ wrestling is too strong for him to be taken down, which means Meerschaert’s aggressive kickboxing will likely lead him directly into Giles’ straight punches. When Meerschaert then shoots and pulls guard, Giles has a choice to make.

The “safe” option is to back away and force Meerschaert to stand, but that’s really just giving Meerschaert another chance to successfully time a takedown or back take. Instead, Giles should willingly take top position and drop bombs — that’s his strength anyway, and Meerschaert has folded to an aggressive top game in the past.


Gerald Meerschaert

Record: 28-11
Key Wins: Oskar Piechota (TUF 27 Finale), Eric Spicely (TUF 26 Finale), Ryan Janes (UFC Fight Night 105)
Key Losses: Kevin Holland (UFC on ESPN 2), Jack Hermansson (UFC on FOX 31), Thiago Santos (UFC 213)
Keys to Victory: Meerschaert is a lot of fun to watch. The Southpaw stalks opponents and chops them down with his hard left body kick, waiting for an opportunity to drop down and drag his foe to the mat. Once there, “GM3” has finished 20 foes via tapout.

This reads like a really bad style match up for him though. Meerschaert is much more likely to struggle when unable to out-wrestle his opponents, but at least his left kick is usually there to help him out. Such was the case against Piechota and Spicely, both of whom felt the effects of the liver kick before the finish came.

Unfortunately, Giles is a Southpaw as well, which will really limit that weapon’s effectiveness.

While that’s a definite blow to Meerschaert’s chances, he’s not without hope. Giles just lost to a veteran finisher who kept the pressure on until an opportunity prevented itself; Meerschaert can follow that same game plan. In that case, the most important factor for Meerschaert is that he does not lose hope or chase a high-risk finish, which is often how he gets in trouble.

If he follows the path of consistent pressure on the feet and with his takedown attempts, Meerschaert is more likely to find his perfect opportunity.


Bottom Line: It’s a very fun fight that will test Giles after a loss.

“The Problem” is still a very talented Middleweight prospect, one whom UFC would like to develop into a Top 15-ranked fighter. He came within a minute or so of passing a similar test the last time out, so this is really a chance for him to right that ship and prove he learned from his mistakes in the Cummings bout.

Though he enters this bout on the heels of consecutive losses, Meerschaert’s job is hopefully safe. He fulfills his role of fairly high-level gatekeeper perfectly: “GM3” is a lot of fun to watch, crafty, and really serves as a dangerous test for prospects and fellow veterans alike. Ideally, he’ll continue in that position regardless of the outcome here, but victory definitely keeps his future more secure.

At UFC on ESPN 5, Trevin Giles and Gerald Meerschaert will meet in the Octagon. Which man will have his hand raised?