Thomas Gifford is getting his shot at the UFC this weekend after 26 fights and will be kicking off the main card against Roosevelt Roberts.
The UFC is coming to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the BB&T Center on April 27. The card is headlined by a short-notice fight between Jack Hermansson and Jacare Souza. UFC Fort Lauderdale features many up-and-coming talents, returning fighters, and a few debuts. In a lightweight bout, Contender Series veteran Roosevelt Roberts will be welcoming Thomas Gifford to the UFC.
Get to Know Thomas Gifford:
Gifford was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas and is now residing in Brush Creek, Arkansas. Gifford started in boxing before finding MMA. He was the Silver Gloves champ in 2007-2008 and the Golden Gloves champ in 2009. Gifford also started learning jiu-jitsu at 15 and is a black belt in kickboxing as well. At only 17-years-old, Gifford made his debut in 2010 and went 11-2 as an amateur. A year later, he made his pro debut in July of 2011. Now, he has a record of 17-7 and along the way won the KCFA and Colosseum Combat lightweight titles. With some speed bumps in his career, Gifford is now on a five-fight win streak.
How Does Thomas Gifford Fare in the UFC:
Gifford is a veteran of 26 fights (including two no contests) and has seen it all in the cage. Somehow, in his pro career, Gifford has only fought two competitors with a losing record. He’s well-rounded and although he has many more submission wins he’s a much better striker. Gifford’s background in boxing has really made him into an excellent striker in the MMA cage. He has shown power but it’s the volume and angles that set him apart. He has a good lead uppercut with a nice one-two and actively attacks the body. He has been knocked out before in MMA and boxing though but that’s due to his willingness to stand in the pocket and trade with his opponent. Gifford has a really dangerous guillotine choke and triangle choke. With that said, that usually come from takedowns landed on him, as his takedown defense has been a big issue in the past. He does have a good guard but against UFC-level competition, he will struggle off his back. Overall, I don’t think he is ever gonna be a ranked fighter but I think he will provide some good fights and win a few bonuses along the way.
How he Matches Up with Roosevelt Roberts:
Roberts is a good prospect who has some hype behind him after his UFC debut. I believe this will be a very competitive fight and will certainly not be a blow out either way. The key to victory for Gifford would be to stay on the feet cause he is the more technical striker. Roberts though has the wrestling to take Gifford down and has shown in his career that he is a beast on top. I like this fight and I think it could be the Fight of the Night. I think Roberts wins, but I think Gifford has a chance and it’s much closer than the odds say.
Check out Thomas Gifford’s interview with Cageside Press here.