After a glut of cards composed entirely of Octagon veterans, we’ve finally got an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) newcomer making his debut this weekend (Sat., July 9, 2022) at UFC Vegas 58. On this edition of “New Blood,” the series where there’s always someone willing to step up on absurdly late notice, we meet a dangerous boxer making a two-month turnaround.
Weight Class: Bantamweight/Featherweight
Record: 8-2 (5 KO, 2 SUB)
Notable Victories: Steven Graham
Armfield, a product of the gym formerly known as Sanford MMA, sits at 6-1 since a 2019 loss to future UFC standout Ronnie Lawrence. His current three-fight win streak most recently saw him knockout Steven Graham to claim the FAC Bantamweight title in May 2022.
He steps in for Austin Lingo on just three days’ notice.
Armfield’s boxing immediately jumps off the screen. He’s fast, powerful, and razor-sharp with his combination punching, punishing the head and body with clean one-two combinations and long salvos in the pocket. Good timing allows him to punish any kicks thrown from within his range, and he’s got an excellent understanding of movement and angles to stay out of trouble when his opponents decide to press the attack.
His biggest weakness is that he can’t really blend those strengths. Once he commits to a combination, his feet and upper body just stop moving. While planting his feet in the face of incoming fire allows him to land some truly devastating counters, it also leaves him right in the firing line. Though he hasn’t shown any chin issues to date, it seems inevitable that someone willing to stand and trade with him will knock his block off sooner rather than later.
That habit also leaves his hips within takedown range, but luckily for him, he’s a very sound defensive wrestler and can get up very quickly if he does end up hitting the deck. The one time it failed him was when he appeared to punch himself out a bit against Mateo Vogel, who managed to wrap up a body lock and transition into back mount.
He’s also capable of hitting takedowns from his own in the clinch, though he’s more about pressure than damage or submissions.
I really like the looks of Armfield, who’s only getting better at 25 years old. A bit more head movement and willingness to go in-and-out instead of just sitting in the pocket while punching and Bantamweight will have a problem on its hands.
Opponent: He steps up in weight to face David Onama. Armfield’s the better boxer of the two in terms of crispness and combinations, but his habit of leading his chin out seems like a death sentence against someone who hits this hard.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 58 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (on ESPN/ESPN+) at 9 p.m. ET.
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