DWCS 2021 Week 5 Breakdown and Predictions

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Manuel Gaxhja
Photo courtesy of Manuel Gaxhja (@manuelgaxhja)

Lightweight: Manuel Gaxja Vs. Chris Duncan

Tale of the Tape

Manuel Gaxja
24-years-old
5’10”
Born in Albania but living in Amsterdam, Netherlands
KOPS GYM
7-0
Has finishes with KO/TKO, submission, and has gone the distance
Chris Duncan
27-years-old
5’11″
Alloa, Scotland
MXP Fitness
7-0
100% finish-rate

Pros and Cons

Manuel Gaxja

Pros

  • Light footwork
  • Decent wrestling
  • Excellent sweeps/reversals off his back
  • Good ground and pound
  • Diverse kickboxing

Cons

  • Telegraphs takedowns at times
  • Loose grappling positions
  • TDD needs work

Chris Duncan

Pros

  • Heavy leg kicks
  • Power right hand
  • Puts punches together
  • Good straight right
  • Aggressive
  • Hits hard
  • Good pocket striker
  • Good body kick
  • Underrated ground game

Cons

  • Gets hit a lot
  • Questionable TDD

Who has the advantage?

Striking: Duncan
Speed: Gaxhja
Output/Volume: Even
Knockout Power: Duncan
Chin: Even
Kickboxing: Gaxhja
Footwork: Gaxhja
Wrestling: Even
Grappling: Duncan
Submissions: Gaxhja
Cardio: Even

Prediction

The way Gaxhja approaches on the feet, you’d think he had a significant advantage over most opponents striking. As dangerous as he is, though, he’s more of a grappler. Gaxhja has that flashy fun style on the outside but once pressured he changes levels. He reminds me of former UFC fighter Oliver Enkamp. Both are karate-style fighters who prefer the grappling but both fail to put it together.

I’d like Gaxhja in this fight if he was able to keep the fight at bay, but against Duncan, well he’s going to be right in his face. Gaxhja is likely to shoot takedowns and might even get Duncan down. I don’t see Gaxhja being able to control Duncan on the mat, and expect he will instead keep taking him down.

Gaxhja is very live for a knockout since he’s much faster and has some serious kicking power. He’s knocked out lesser competition however, and Duncan is by far his toughest test. I’m predicting Duncan to walk Gaxhja down and land volume to an eventual stoppage.

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