Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight talents Said Nurmagomedov and Cody Stamann will duel this weekend (Sat., Jan. 22, 2022) at UFC 270 inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
For a badass finisher with the last name Nurmagomedov, Said has flown under the radar a bit at 135 pounds. A loss to the excellent Raoni Barcelos slowed his momentum, but still, a top-tier wrestler with the ability to spinning back kick KO people? You’d think more fans would care. Stamann rose into the Top 10 on the strength of a victory over Bryan Caraway, which was actually a rather big deal at the time. Unfortunately for the Michigan-native, he’s since lost that position, coming up short in his last two bouts against admittedly top-notch competition.
As such, we have two very talented Bantamweights looking to break into the rankings. Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Key Wins: Ricardo Ramos (UFC Fight Night 144), Justin Scoggins (UFC Fight Night 133), Mark Striegl (UFC Fight Island 6)
Key Losses: Raoni Barcelos (UFC Fight Night 165),
Keys to Victory: Nurmagomedov has clearly shown some wrestling and submission skills in the past, but inside the Octagon, he’s largely operated as a kickboxer. In particular, he’s done his best work at distance, where his movement and kicks are often a notch above his opponents.
In this bout, Nurmagomedov is likely looking to employ a sprawl-and-brawl game plan. Both men are quite well-rounded, but given Nurmagomedov’s significant advantages in height and reach, playing the role of strikers makes a lot of sense.
In general, Stamann is happy to kickbox at distance until he’s able to bait his opponents into reaching, at which point he’ll blast the double. Fortunately for the Dagestani, he’s got the range to compete with Stamann without giving up his hips in the process. If he’s able to hang back, snapping straight punches and long kicks without giving his opponent takedown opportunities, Nurmagomedov is in great position to pick up the best win of his career.
Key Wins: Bryan Caraway (UFC 222), Brian Kelleher (UFC 250), Alejandra Perez (UFC 235), Tom Duquesnoy (UFC 216)
Key Losses: Aljamain Sterling (UFC 228), Merab Dvalishvili (UFC Vegas 25), Jimmie Rivera (UFC Fight Island 1)
Keys to Victory: Stamann is a rather interesting mix of very strong wrestling and rangy Karate in the body of a classic wrestle-boxer. He makes up for his lack of range with his kicks, smartly applying the side kick as both a measuring stick and deterrent to pressure.
For the reasons above, solely kickboxing at range with Nurmagomedov isn’t the best idea. Stamann has to get his wrestling going to win, but he can’t rely solely on reactive shots. Instead, Stamann will have to be a touch more aggressive than usual, throwing more punches to get his foe moving backwards then shoot.
Stamann’s ability to chain together takedowns is genuinely very strong. If he’s able to convince Nurmagomedov the two are in a kickboxing match and gain good entry on the hips, he can very likely finish the shot.
In a close kickboxing match, one or two takedowns can make all the difference.
Neither Bantamweight is ranked at the moment, but both are highly skilled.
Nurmagomedov has yet to really build much momentum at 135 pounds, but it’s not because he’s without talent. Instead, inactivity has really hampered his progress. If Nurmagomedov can start 2022 with a big win and return to action quickly, his fortunes can change.
Meanwhile, Stamann is looking to recover lost ground. Prior to his current pair of defeats, Stamann was highly ranked and looking to make progress towards the belt. Now, he’s looking to avoid an 0-3 run. It’s been a rough turn of fortunes, but victory here puts Stamann back on the right track.
At UFC 270, Said Nurmagomedov and Cody Stamann will open the main card. Which man will earn the victory?
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 270 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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