This coming Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada, UFC 264 will take place in the T-Mobile Arena. The card will be headlined by the trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. In the co-main event two former welterweight title challengers, Gilbert Burns and Stephen Thompson, will do battle. Sean O’Malley (13-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) is also on the card and opening up the PPV. He was supposed to fight Louis Smolka, but that’s no longer the case due to a staph infection. Now O’Malley will fight newcomer Kris Moutinho.
Milford, Massachusetts, US
Regiment Training Center
How will Kris Moutinho fare in the UFC:
Moutinho wasn’t just signed because of his last two fights, but because his fighting style draws a lot of eyeballs. In no way is Moutinho high-level but his willingness to just scrap with anyone is fun to watch. Offensively, Moutinho is a talented guy. On the feet pressing forward is where he fights the best. Moutinho is all output and non-stop pressure with a barrage of combinations. He literally throws everything including the kitchen sink at you. Moutinho will throw rights, lefts, uppercuts, kicks, and knees while blending it all together. He doesn’t have a ton of power but his constant outpouring of volume is too much for some opponents to handle.
Moutinho can definitely take some punishment and has been dropped a few times and has been knocked out. He doesn’t move his head and barely moves his feet. Moutinho is tough as hell but his lack of defense will continue to hinder him. Moutinho doesn’t have the best takedown defense either. He does do well off his back attacking leg locks and continuously scrambling. A good wrestler will be able to control him, like Tony Gravely was able to. Moutinho is a good offensive grappler but loose with his position.
Overall, I don’t mind the signing at all as Moutinho is talented and exciting to watch. I don’t like the circumstances as to why he was signed though. He unlikely to ever be ranked but will be someone to test a lot of guys, and will put on fun fights.
- Striking: B
- Kickboxing: B-
- Clinch: C
- Wrestling: C
- Grappling: C
- Striking Defense: C+
- Takedown Defense: C+
- Cardio: A
- Biggest Strength: Striking
- Biggest Weakness: Defense
How he matches up with O’Malley:
This is MMA and anything can happen but this fight is a setup fight for O’Malley. Both men are primarily strikers but going strike for strike, O’Malley has a significant advantage. O’Malley is faster, hits much harder, and is the longer, larger fighter. I can’t see Moutinho giving O’Malley problems anywhere.