UFC Fight Night 83 fight card: Cody Garbrandt vs Augusto Mendes full fight preview. Cody Garbrandt and Augusto Mendes will collide this Sunday (Feb. 21, 2016) at UFC Fight Night 83 inside Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In a match up of knockout artist and submission fighter, what adjustments must be made for either man to claim victory? Find out below!.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight prospects Cody Garbrandt and Augusto Mendes will clash this Sunday (Feb. 21, 2016) at UFC Fight Night 83 inside Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Unbeaten as a professional, Garbrandt was set to receive an important step up in competition against his first ranked opponent, John Lineker. However, the brawler fell ill to Dengue Fever, setting up Garbrandt to instead scrap with a Brazilian jiu-jitsu master.
Also undefeated, Mendes is just five fights into his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, but has a deep background in jiu-jitsu competition. Taking the fight on just six days notice, “Tanquinho” is looking to make an immediate name for himself.
Let’s take a look at the keys to victory for each fighter:
Key Wins: Marcus Brimage (UFC 182), Henry Briones (UFC 189)
Key Losses: None
Keys to Victory: A rather successful amateur boxer and wrestler, Garbrandt was picked up by UFC after just five fights. Thus far, the 24-year-old fighter has lived up to his “prospect” label, defeating both of his UFC opponents without much issue.
Outside of his most recent win, Garbrandt has won each of his fights via knockout.
In this bout, it’s important that Garbrandt remains patient and fights smart early. Luckily, Garbrandt’s game plan is fairly obvious, as this is a definite sprawl-and-brawl situation.
His opponent only has one path to victory, and that’s to tie “No Love” up and force him to the mat. Therefore, Garbrandt should focus on utilizing his footwork and strikes to maintain distance, keeping his opponent uncomfortable with quick strikes.
“Tanquinho” is not yet a developed striker and is taking this on short notice, so attempting to trade with and track Garbrandt down will he tire him out and cause his takedown attempts to become less effective. Once that happens, the Team Alpha Male representative can up the aggression and look for another knockout victory.
Key Wins: None
Key Losses: None
Keys to Victory: Mendes is one of the most decorated jiu-jitsu fighters on the roster, having won both the gi- and no-gi worlds and placed in the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) grappling tournament. That said, how the rest of his game stacks up against top competition remains to be seen.
However, this isn’t the fight to find that out.
On short notice against another top prospect, Mendes needs to stick to his roots and look to overwhelm his opponent with his grappling. Even if he did have a full camp, that’s his best chance at success anyway.
In this situation, Mendes needs to start quickly. If he comes out slowly and lets his opponent find his range and start getting off on punches, he’s making his own life more difficult.
Instead, “Tanquinho” has to rush his opponent and force the issue. If he’s unable to score with traditional takedowns, rolling for a leg lock or attempting to skip some steps and jump onto the back from the clinch should be considered.
To win this bout, Mendes has to find a way to make it a jiu-jitsu battle.
Bottom Line: This is an important battle between two of the Bantamweight division’s finest up-and-comers.
Originally, this was a far more high-profile bout for Garbrandt, as Lineker is a fairly well-known and proven fighter. Because of that, the reward for victory would’ve been far greater. Regardless, this is tough opponent and on the main card, so Garbrandt can make the most of it by reminding fight fans of his knockout ability.
On the other hand, a loss would place Garbrandt in a strange position. It obviously wouldn’t help him move up the divisional ladder, but Mendes is pretty much the stylistic opposite of Lineker. Along with the short notice of the bout, that would earn “No Love” some lenience.
While Mendes is young in his MMA career, he is 32 years old. Therefore, he likely doesn’t have the longest career ahead of him, so making an impact early is vital for the Brazilian.
There’s no better way to do just that then by taking a short-notice victory over a top prospect.
Alternatively, a loss is definitely excusable. Facing Garbrandt on less than one week’s notice is a tough task for anyone in the division, so “Tanquinho” will not be judged too harshly if he comes up short in his debut.
At UFC Fight Night 83, Cody Garbrandt and Augusto Mendes will throw down. Which fighter will have his hand raised?