With the octagon remaining in Las Vegas until a trip to Florida next month, it’s UFC Vegas 22 going down Saturday. The card is headlined by streaking middleweights Derek Brunson and Kevin Holland, the latter of whom was Fighter of the Year in 2020. Also on the card is Gregor Gillespie vs Brad Riddell in the co-main event. Montel Jackson is making his return, meanwhile, against newcomer Jesse Strader.
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How will Strader fare in the UFC:
Strader is an exciting fighter and most likely was signed just due to the fact he scored a highlight-reel knockout in his last fight. With that said, debuting in the UFC with only six pro fights is way too soon. Also, coming into a division like 135 just seems like suicide.
Strader is a pure boxer who does occasionally scores takedowns from time to time. He essentially has no top control so his wrestling is there to only score quick points. I personally love a fighter that will attack the body and Strader does just that. Strader will rip the body a ton and then go to the head. It’s not just body-head like most fighters as it’s more like body-body-body-head that Strader does. Strader is a scrappy brawler that doesn’t mind taking damage to give some. He does sit in the pocket too much and is so worried about getting his shots off that he’s there to easily be hit. Strader doesn’t have the deepest gas tank as he slows significantly after the first. Overall from an entertainment value he would’ve been a perfect fit on the Contender Series. For the UFC his cardio, striking defense, and being so one-dimensional will hold him back until he rounds out his game.
- Striking: A-
- Kickboxing: C
- Clinch: C
- Wrestling: C+
- Grappling: D+
- Striking Defense: C
- Takedown Defense: C+
- Cardio: C
- Biggest Strength: Boxing
- Biggest Weakness: Striking defense
How he matches up with Jackson:
Strader is going to have to finish Jackson, and early because Jackson has been the more proven fighter. Not to mention that Strader took this fight on just over a week’s notice. Jackson has only lost to Brett Johns and Ricky Simon, a level of competition better than anyone Strader has yet to defeat. Jackson should be able to use his length or even utilize some wrestling and get a submission as he did against Brian Kelleher. The pick here is Jackson and I’m confident.