Back again to the Apex arena for the fifth straight time, the UFC on ESPN 12 card is headlined between Dan Hooker and Dustin Poitier in an important lightweight bout. Other notable fighters on the card are Mike Perry, Aspen Ladd, Sara McMann, Luis Pena, and other exciting names. It’s the last stop before the UFC heads off to “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi.
At flyweight in the women’s division the UFC has signed Invicta FC Phoenix Series 2 tournament winner Miranda Maverick. She will be debuting against Italy’s Mara Romero Borella (12-8 MMA, 2-4 UFC) who needs a win in the most important way as she’s riding a three-fight skid.
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How will Maverick fare in the UFC:
Compared to when Maverick first started he pro career she’s come a long way. On the feet she is getting better. She throws well in bursts and more and more is starting to kick the leg. She does get walked down fairly easily and will throw naked kicks with her hands low. Her movement has improved but her head still is very stationary.
While Maverick is improving, just about any good striker in the UFC will probably pick her apart. She’s a better grappler, but I’m not sold on her wrestling. Maverick relies on her strength to just pull girls down. She will grab a single leg but will a lot of times just lead headfirst to the mat which gives openings for her back being taken. She has been getting better at using trips and getting her hands together but more so relies on strength over technique. On the mat, she is very strong on top and will dominate the position up until she takes the back and sinks in the choke. Even off her back Maverick is a threat and she does find herself on her back often because her takedown defense isn’t where it needs to be. Maverick will immediately throw her legs up and it really dangerous attacking the armbar. However, she may be less effective off her back in the UFC because there are better BJJ fighters. The best attribute Maverick has is youth. She’s only 22-years-old and has so much room for growth. She’s already improved so much so in the next few years she’s you may find that she’s reached another level.
How Maverick matches up with Borella:
Miranda Maverick is matched up well here in her UFC debut. Borella is definitely tough but is on a three-fight skid and overall is 2-4 in the UFC. On the feet, Borella doesn’t have a lot of output and Maverick probably has the advantage. Montana De La Rosa was able to muscle down Borella in their fight and dominated her in the grappling department. If De La Rosa can do that to Borella then a more physical, better grappler, and a much more aggressive Maverick can easily do it. The pick is Maverick and I’m thinking she can finish Borella inside the distance.