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UFC Vegas 59 - New Blood: ‘Maverick’ flies high in ‘Sin City’

UFC Fighter Portraits Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Contender Series graduates getting their wins overturned because of failed drug tests are reasonably common, and we’ve now got another one coming down the pipe. On this edition of New Blood, the series where Fight Pass’s lack of transparency when it comes to what’s available there and what’s on ESPN+ will irk me forever, we look at a nasty power-puncher from Wanderlei Silva’s crew.

LIVE! Stream UFC Vegas 87 On ESPN+

PIVOTAL FLYWEIGHT FRACAS! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Arena CDMX in Mexico City, Mexico, on Feb. 24, 2024, with a pivotal Flyweight fracas between former 125-pound kingpin, Brandon Moreno, and most recent title challenger, Brandon Royval, who replaces the red-hot (and injured) Iraqi “Prince,” Amir Albazi. In UFC Mexico City’s ESPN+-streamed co-main event, top-ranked Featherweight contenders, Yair Rodriguez (No. 3) and Brian Ortega (No. 4), will run it back after their initial encounter ended prematurely via gross injury.

Don’t miss a single second of face-punching action!

Josh “The Maverick” Quinlan

Weight Class: Welterweight
Age: 29
Record: 5-0 (3 KO, 2 SUB)
Notable Victories: Logan Urban (Overturned)

“The Maverick” went undefeated (6-0) as an amateur, five of those wins inside the distance, before turning professional in 2019. Five more finishes carried him to Contender Series, where he wiped out Logan Urban in 47 seconds before failing a drug test.

Quinlan is a Muay Thai coach at Wanderlei Silva’s Wand Fight Team, which should give you a decent idea of how he fights. He’s all about blasting loaded-up power shots and ripping crippling low kicks from a strong, square and switchable stance. He’s more technical than that description might suggest, though; he throws those punches with technique and can put together some solid combinations when he puts his mind to it, though he seems to prefer throwing just a couple at a time if he’s not going for the kill.

When allowed to lead, he can look unstoppable as he marches forward and breaks down opponents. He’s a lot more mortal when pressured, thanks in no small part to his habit of backing straight up with low hands and no real urgency. He’s got plenty of fancy, stance-switching footwork early in fights, but it seems to just vanish if someone gets in his face. Indeed, he’ll only start moving laterally after he’s already taken a few steps back and probably gotten punched at least once.

A good example of this occurred in his second-most recent bout against Dallas Jennings. He spent the first 1.5 rounds tearing up Jenning’s lead leg, but as soon as Jennings started to advance, Quinlan found himself backing to the fence and eating heavy flurries. The occasional strong counter isn’t sufficient to make up for his lack of cage awareness, though he does have a rock-solid chin to lean on.

He can also be short on setups to the low kicks, though he does at least feint with the hands beforehand.

Though not one to initiate the grappling, Quinlan’s a solid operator on the mat. His overall takedown defense appears decent, and both times he was taken down in his last three fights, he immediately swept his way to the top. His ground-and-pound is every bit as violent as his striking, and he’s got enough submission savvy to wrap up a rear-naked choke if just mauling from mount or the back isn’t cutting it.

I’d rate Quinlan as an edge-of-upper-quartile action fighter. His issues with pressure will keep him from sniffing contention as soon as his opponents catch on, but the sheer violence he brings to the table should earn him a lengthy stint in the Octagon, with perhaps a peak near the Top 15 if he can smooth out some rough edges.

Opponent: He takes on wrestling specialist Jason Witt. On the one hand, Witt’s ultra-persistent with his takedown, so it wouldn’t be too shocking to see Quinlan repeatedly back himself to the fence, whiff a counter, and get taken down for 15 unpleasant minutes. On the other, Witt’s chin is made of particle board, so Quinlan only needs one semi-clean shot to put him away. The latter’s more likely, though not by a massive margin.

Tape: His LFA bouts are on Fight Pass.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 59 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (on ESPN/ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 59: “Hill vs. Santos” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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