PFL 2021 #4 is scheduled to go down this Thursday, and there will be an absolute war going down between Chris Wade and Arman Ospanov.
Wade (18-6) has really cut his teeth within the PFL promotion. After a UFC stint from 2014-2017, the featherweight is now a PFL mainstay and has not looked back. With nine fights under the promotion, it’s safe to say that he’s been making requisite developments along the way. However, against the extremely talented striker Ospanov (11-3), he will need to be cautious of unorthodox strikes coming from odd angles.
Before the card kicks off, let’s take a closer look at the featherweight battle between Wade and Ospanov.
— PFL (@PFLMMA) June 6, 2021
Chris Wade Pre-Fight Notables
- Use of kicks as range-finders early in fights (evident in his fight with Akhmed Aliev in 2019)
- Effective head and arm-throw technique
- In southpaw stance, utilizes heavy body kicks
- In orthodox stance, utilizes inside leg kicks
- Never submitted or finished professionally (career spanning from 2010-present)
- Quick scrambles and tight guillotine and rear-naked chokes
Unquestionably, Wade is durable and a crafty tactician inside the cage. Additionally, it will be intriguing to see how the “Long Island Killer” handles the wild striking techniques of Ospanov. Wade does possess the characteristics essential to combating a heavy striking game-plan. In particular, the 33-year old American is an opportunist with his submissions, and at times Ospanov can overextend in striking exchanges. If that happens to occur that is one viable path to victory for Wade this Thursday at PFL 4.
Arman Ospanov Pre-Fight Notables
- Primarily southpaw striker, with a wide variety of shot selection
- Lulls opponents in with keeping hands below the chin
- Sharp feints and fake entries
- Effective at jabbing to the body and exiting safely
- Powerful step-in lead elbows
- Effective takedown defense (demonstrated in his get-up against Lom-Ali Eskijew at ACA 95: Moscow)
- Rarely sets feet, and remains a moving target
- Rangy and possesses fast-twitch flying knees
- Ability to change stances in the middle of striking exchanges
Since Ospanov’s movement is agile and quick, this will be a challenge for Wade because much of his game relies on closing the distance and slowing the fight down. Essentially, Ospanov is the opposite and prefers range so that he can land devastating strikes like elbows and knees. As an eight-point striker, Ospanov is dangerous in all three levels of striking distance (1.Close Range, 2. Mid Range 3. Outside Range). In the end, he will definitely give Wade a stiff challenge.
The fight will be determined by who enacts their game plan more effectively. At first, that seems like a vague statement, but it really couldn’t be further from the truth. If Wade can get the fight to the ground, it’s by no means a lock but should he can keep Ospanov down, then it will be his fight for the taking. However, after seeing the frenetic scrambling of the Kazakhstan native in his fight against Eskijew, certainly, that won’t be an easy feat to accomplish.