Welcome to the UFC: Ali Al Qaisi

UFC 235 UFC 210, TUF 27 Finale, TUF 27, Mike Trizano
UFC Octagon Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

On August 8 the UFC is in the Apex arena in Las Vegas, Nevada once again. UFC Vegas 6 is headlined by heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Alexey Oleinik in a clash of styles. Also on the card are Chris Weidman, Tim Means, and Beneil Dariush. The lone debut on the card is Jordan’s first UFC fighter, Ali Al Qaisi. He will be taking on the UFC sophomore Irwin Rivera (9-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC).

Ali “The Royal Fighter” Al Qaisi
Amman, Jordan
10th Planet Las Vegas
4 Submissions

How will Qaisi fare in the UFC:

Qaisi has a background in Kung Fu (Sanda) as he was a world champion is 2015 and 2016. On the feet, Qaisi doesn’t really have a lot to offer. He has power in his hands but is extremely wild throwing wide looping hooks just asking to be countered. Not wanting to spend much time striking he will quickly come forward get the body lock and trip his opponent to the mat. Qaisi is a physically strong athlete just muscling fights to the mat. Once he gets the fight down however Qaisi is hardly a threat. He has a very good guillotine but that’s when he defends a takedown or catches it in a scramble. “The Royal Fighter” is someone who relies on his strength, grit, and cardio.

How he matches up with Rivera:

Rivera and Qaisi are completely different fighters. Qaisi being more of a wrestler while Rivera is a brawler. Rivera has issues with takedown defense and I do think Qaisi can muscle him down as he is the bigger guy. As the fight goes on, Rivera’s improved defense against someone who utilizes takedown in the clinch could be a factor. I would believe Rivera is fast enough to stay away also. Although Qaisi has a strength advantage Rivera is far more explosive, quicker, and is just a big handful to deal with on the feet. The pick is Rivera by decision or late TKO stoppage.

The bet I like is Irwin Rivera wins by decision at +175. Qaisi is a tough dude who I think will make this a gritty fight. Rivera inside the distance is +205 which is a nice line as well. I’m leaning with the decision though.