DWCS 2021 Week 4 Breakdown and Predictions

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Nikolay Veretennikov Credit: LFA

Welterweight: Michael Morales Vs. Nikolay Veretennikov

Tale of the Tape

Michael Morales
21-years-old
6’3″
Oro, Ecuador
Xtreme Fitness Machala
11-0Z
Nine wins by KO/TKO
Nikolay Veretennikov
34-years-old
6’2″
From Kazakhstan but living in Huntington Beach, California, US
Kings MMA/ Huntington Beach Training Center
9-3
49-28 combined opponents record (wins)

Pros and Cons

Michael Morales

Pros

  • Solid grappling
  • Utilizes trips in the clinch
  • Physically strong
  • Good straight punches
  • Good one-two
  • Heavy leg kicks
  • Fights long very well

Cons

  • Questionable TDD
  • Hands low
  • Chin high

Nikolay Veretennikov

Pros

  • Excellent shot-selection
  • Physically strong
  • Strong wrestling
  • Dangerous in the clinch
  • Superb knees to the body
  • Good bodywork
  • Good kicks/Heavy kicks
  • Never repetitive

Cons

  • TDD needs some work
  • Not great off his back

Who has the advantage?

Striking: Veretennikov
Speed: Morales
Output/Volume: Morales
Knockout Power: Veretennikov
Chin: Even
Kickboxing: Morales (close)
Footwork: Morales
Wrestling: Veretennikov
Grappling: Morales
Submissions: Neither
Cardio: Even

Prediction

I love this fight and I love both of these guys as UFC fighters. It’s a shame one has to lose because both are UFC level in my opinion. This is probably the only shot Veretennikov is going to get since he’s already 34 but he really should already be in the UFC. Morales is only 21 so he has nothing but time. With how good he is now it’s a remarkable thing.

Veretennikov is a lot to handle especially for a young guy that’s untested. Morales could outpoint Veretennikov with his range. His better option is to use his wrestling, and his grappling could very well be superior. Veretennikov has just fought better competition and has seen much more adversity. I think his resilience, body work, and his experience will be too much for Morales.

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