Going down this Saturday at the Apex, UFC Vegas 31 will host the red-hot Islam Makhachev taking on the always challenging Thiago Moisés in a lightweight main event fight. In the co-main event, Marion Reneau is welcoming former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate back to the promotion following a four and half year layoff. In a welterweight fight, Daniel Rodriguez was supposed to fight Abubakar Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov pulled out due to injury and the UFC signed regional champ Preston Parsons to take this fight on short notice.
Preston “Pressure” Parsons
Standing at 5’11″
Fighting at 170 lbs (welterweight)
Fighting out of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, US
Training out of Elevate MMA
A pro record of 9-2
How will Parsons fare in the UFC:
Not many people know Parsons but let me tell you he’s 100% deserving of this opportunity and will be in the UFC for a long time. His only losses are to Mike Perry and Valdir Araujo, and I think he beats both these days. He’s battle-tested fighting good fighters for the majority of his career. He’s not someone that’s padded their record as he’s always been looking for the most challenging fights. Getting thrown into the top competition and still having an overall record of 9-2 is splendid.
Parsons is a wrestler and grappler who has only shown glimpses of his stand-up. In his last fight, he did showcase more of his stand-up however, and it looked very good. Parsons put on a striking clinic landing volume while using some good head movement. It was it the clinch where he shined, landing excellent combinations to the body and head while landing damaging elbows as well. Even though he looked very good on the feet he still finished the fight on the mat because that’s where he excels.
Parsons has always struck his way into range very well. He does a great job while in the clinch, and he’ll change levels to the legs and get the takedown. Parsons is fully capable of getting takedowns from the body lock and utilizing trips. He has more capability in setting up takedowns and executing double legs and single legs which are the important fundamentals to have as a top-notch wrestler. While having legit wrestling, Persons is also a fantastic submission grappler as well. He will use traps to set up other submissions such as the kimura. He will threaten the kimura to set up the armbar. Parsons has also got the armbar from his opponents attacking with a kimura. His top position could be heavier as he grapples loosely. That’s allowed guys to get back to their feet. Most of the time though, as opponents try to get to their feet, Parsons will take the back. From the back, Parsons has a sick RNC he’s finished with five times. I believe Parsons has a bright future in the UFC.
How he matches up with Rodriguez:
On short notice fighting a guy like Rodrigues is tough. Parsons is a close-knit fighter that strikes well in a phonebooth and uses his wrestling. Rodriguez is a tough guy to get inside on as his distance control and boxing in really good. Anywhere on the feet Rodriguez will give Parsons trouble. Rodriguez is 34-years-old and his best win is arguably against an aged Tim Means. He is still hard to oppose your will on. If Parsons gets one takedown I think he can finish but I don’t see it. I can’t see Parsons having the footwork or the striking to close the distance.