Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is still condemning its fights to the “Prelims” and the recent title fight ended without a title, but the Flyweight division is still kicking. On this edition of “New Blood,” the series where extrapolation is the name of the game, we look at a 125-pound Czech standout on a seven-year win streak.
David “Killa Khroust” Dvorak
Weight Class: Flyweight
Record: 17-3 (8 KO, 7 SUB)
Notable Victories: None
The first male Czech fighter to join the roster since Viktor Pesta, Dvorak enters UFC on a 13-fight win streak dating back to 2012. Each of those victories has come by stoppage in less than two rounds, including nine in the first five minutes.
He steps in for the injured Sumudaerji on just over a month’s notice.
Looking at a record full of light-to-moderate opposition, I wasn’t prepared for how much Dvorak would impress me. He’s got lethal hands, good movement, and what looks to be a decently stout grappling game on top of that. He works behind a busy jab on the outside, offering a good one-two combination, hard leg kicks, and most notably some brutal counters, particularly with his right hand. Inside, it’s all about rapid-fire combinations with real power behind them, occasionally mixed in with a low kick or takedown attempt.
He looks equally comfortable pressing the action or circling in pursuit of a counter. Besides a reluctance to check low kicks and a predictable habit of circling to his right after blocking a right hand, he doesn’t seem to have any glaring weaknesses on the feet.
His takedown defense looked strong, both in terms of his sprawl and in the uppercut he can time on a level change. Even if opponents shoot underneath his punches, he’s quick enough to get underhooks and separate before they can make a real bid at dragging him down. He’s shown some decent takedowns of his own, but what’s really impressive is his ability to take the back. Five of his seven submission wins have come via rear-naked choke and it’s not hard to see why.
I’m aware that my adulation may be premature considering he’s yet to face a world-class opponent, but I really like what I see out of Dvorak. His combination of speed, power, and countering ability brings to mind one of my old favorites in Shahbulat Shamhalaev. With proper management and steady improvement, I can see him making a decent run.
Opponent: Debut foe Bruno Silva moved up to 135 pounds for his own UFC debut against Khalid Taha, which saw him grapple his way back into the fight after two hard knockdowns but ultimately tap to an arm triangle. Dvorak doesn’t have the one-shot power or, obviously, the size of Taha, but he’s a cleaner puncher and has far better takedown defense. I see this as a coming-out party for Dvorak, at least if he can stay on his feet.
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