DWCS 2023: Episode 7 Breakdown and Predictions

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Greg Velasco set to appear on DWCS 2023 Episode 7
Greg Velasco, CFFC 117 weigh-in Credit: Cage Fury FC

We’ve reached week seven of Dana White’s Contender Series Season 7, with the latest season just flying by. This week, a pair of undefeated heavyweights face off when Shamil Gaziev meets Greg Velasco. Plus, decorated Brazilian Jiu-jitsu artist Talita Alencar, entering the night just 4-0 but with a stunning collection of grappling accolades, looks to break into the UFC.

Our breakdown and predictions are set for DWCS 2023 Episode 7! Read on!

Heavyweight: Shamil Gaziev Vs. Greg Velasco

Tale of the Tape

Shamil Gaziev
31-years-old
6’3″
Manama, Bahrain
KHK MMA Team
10-0
7 KO/TKOs, 2 Submissions
Combined opponent’s record: 39-11-1
Greg Velasco
29-years-old
6’2″
6-0
Union Beach, New Jersey
Bayshore Jiu-Jitsu/The Institute
3 KO/TKOs, 2 Submissions
Combined opponent’s record: 17-11

Pros and Cons

Shamil Gaziev

Pros

  • Good ground and pound
  • Fast starter
  • Heavy top position
  • Strong wrestling
  • Physically strong
  • Hits hard
  • Scrambles well

Cons

  • TDD needs works
  • Hands low
  • Poor cardio
  • No head movement

Greg Velasco

Pros

  • Solid cardio
  • Good wrestling
  • Submission threat
  • Good clinch work
  • Solid jiu-jitsu
  • Scrambles well
  • Good kicks

Cons

  • Plodding footwork
  • Struggles at range
  • TDD needs some work

Who has the advantage?

Striking: Gaziev
Speed:  Gaziev
Output/Volume: Gaziev
Kickboxing: Velasco
Striking defense: Velasco
Footwork/movement: Gaziev
Wrestling: Gaziev
Grappling: Velasco
Gas tank: Velasco

Prediction: The UFC needs to sign all the heavyweights they can so matching two of the best prospects against each other here is confusing.

Both men have accomplished a lot in their MMA careers thus far. Gaziev was an IMMAF world champion as an amateur. Even though he hasn’t won any titles as a pro he’s beat good competition. Wins over Kirill Kornilov and Darko Stosic are solid wins. Velasco hasn’t fought quite as good competition but at heavyweight, it could definitely be worse. He is the current CFFC heavyweight champion with one title defense.

There is a lot of hype behind Gaziev and rightfully so. He has some major holes being his gas tank and his striking defense. For striking defense to be a concern at heavyweight isn’t a good match. He doesn’t have to worry about that here because Velasco isn’t a power puncher. Gaziev does have to worry about the cardio because Velasco has very good heavyweight cardio. Most think Gaziev dominates this fight but I think it’s closer than that.

I am ultimately picking Gaziev because I think he’s a bad match-up for Velasco. Gaziev is the bigger and stronger man with the better wrestling technique. I do favor the jiu-jitsu of Velasco but the top position of Gaziev will be good enough. If Velasco had better striking I would pick him in this fight. In fact, I think Gaziev could chin-check Velasco, especially with how his hands have looked lately. I either think Gaziev finishes early with a blitz of strikes or he wins by decision by takedowns and top position.

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