The UFC is coming to Norfolk, Virginia on February 29 for a Fight Night event held inside the Chartway Arena. The main event is set to crown the new flyweight champion, as Joe Benavidez will take on Deiveson Figueiredo with the vacant belt on the line. The undercard held a featherweight bout between Aalon Cruz and Steven Peterson, but Peterson pulled out due to injury. Now stepping in on short notice is Spike Carlyle.
Spike “The Alpha Ginger” Carlyle
San Diego, California
The Treigning Lab
How will Carlyle fare in the UFC:
Carlyle is such a good signing to the UFC as he has an awesome fighting style and a fun personality. He’s beat at least mid-level opponents such as Jean-Paul Bosnoyan, Fernando Padilla, and Brian Del Rosario so it’s a better signing on paper than a few that others signed this year. Carlyle is a wildman who is super aggressive from the start of the fight priding himself as a fast starter. “The Alpha Ginger” is a very strong wrestler rag-dolling guys, despite usually being the smaller guy most of the time. Not the heaviest ground and pound but he stays active in every position. As a pro and amateur, he’s proven to be a big submission threat. On the feet, Carlyle is a dangerous striker particularly with the power in his hands. He’s very unpredictable in what he throws and that’s what makes him an exceptional prospect. There isn’t as much footage as I’d like to be out there but of what I’ve seen I expect him to do well.
How Carlyle matches up with Cruz:
What comes to notice right off is the size advantage of Cruz, having a six-inch height advantage over Carlyle. Cruz is a good fighter that knows how to use his range very well and that’s going to be a huge factor in this fight. Cruz throws a good jab and is an excellent kickboxer. Spike Carlyle is aggressive like no other though and if he can get to the inside he could power Cruz around. I’m siding with Cruz because he’s a much longer fighter who really knows how to use his length.