Welcome to the UFC: Rolando Bedoya

Rolando Bedoya, UFC 288
Rolando Bedoya, UFC 288 weigh-in Credit: Jake Noecker/Cageside Press

The UFC returns to Newark, NJ for the first time since prior to COVID for UFC 288: Sterling vs. Cejudo. And if that didn’t give it away, it’s Aljamain Sterling defending his bantamweight title against Henry Cejudo in the main event. Also on the card, Rolando Bedoya, one of several debuting fighters. The welterweight has been paired up against Khaos Williams.

Rolando “The Machine” Bedoya
Standing at five-foot-eleven
Fighting at 170 lbs (welterweight)
Fighting out of Lima, Peru
Training out of Chute Boxe
A pro record of 14-1
4 KO/TKOs, 3 Submissions

How will Bedoya fare in the UFC:

I didn’t expect Bedoya to be signed straight out to the UFC without having to go through the Contender Series first. He is the Fusion FC welterweight champion out of Peru. His only loss came almost eights years ago in 2015. He’s won his last eleven fights riding a lot of momentum. Bedoya has fought a few good records but doesn’t have that one meaningful win.

Bedoya is a good striker, which is where he wants to keep the fight. He does have pretty good takedown defense to keep it there. Saying that, he’s never had it tested against a credible wrestler. Bedoya will mix in takedowns from time to time but I don’t rate his ground game too highly. It is nice though that he will mix things up.

On the feet, Bedoya could use better footwork. He relies on his hand positioning to win the little battles. Bedoya does a really good job at blending in punches and leg kicks frequently. He hardly ever throws single strikes as it’s always in twos or three. Bedoya throws a bunch of leg kicks and that’s to start and end short combinations. He don’t seem to generate much power in anything he throws but his volume adds up. Bedoya is flat-footed and will sit in the pocket for far too long. He does roll with punches well but he’s there to get hit as he’s been hurt and dropped before.

I’m not confident Bedoya can be successful in the UFC. He’s got holes in his game in all areas. Even where he’s best, he’s not outclassing anyone. Depending on how he will be matched up I do think he could beat the bottom of the division. Against guys like Mike Mathetha, Themba Gorimbo, and Orion Cosce I would confidently pick Bedoya.

How does he match up with Khaos Williams:

Williams is a tough one to make your debut against. All five guys Williams has fought in the UFC would likely beat Bedoya. I’m guessing this fight doesn’t hit the mat. Williams doesn’t wrestle and Bedoya likely can’t take him down. My big issue with Williams is he won’t fire enough. He’s sometimes gun-shy and it’s a shame because he has bricks in his fists.
Bedoya will draw the fight out of him because he will push the pace. But someone that moves a lot and uses range is what you would expect to beat Williams. That style of fighter isn’t Bedoya. Instead, Bedoya will sit in the pocket and trade. I strongly favor Williams in a striking affair. Too much all of a sudden for Bedoya to handle.