Faber vs. Cruz
Look, everyone in MMA loves throwing bombs to the dome. The gloves are tiny, so you can really smash an opponent’s brains. However, with Cruz, his head is all over the place, so fighters tend to completely whiff on head strikes.
Faber needs to work the body and legs for two big reasons. One, those targets are harder for Cruz to get out of harm’s way, so Faber has a better chance of hitting them. Two, body and leg work is going to slow Cruz down.
Another facet of fighting Cruz on the feet is that his punches often don’t carry a ton of power based on his movement. A lot of times, he throws a punch with both feet in the air, gliding away. Faber shouldn’t just wade forward, because Dom is capable of putting some sting in his blows, but a solid shell and antsy feet, ready to sprawl away from Cruz’s patented knee-tap take downs are what Urijah needs on the feet.
Go For Chokes
Cruz is a wormy, slippery guy. If he does get taken down, he doesn’t spend a lot of time on the mat. Faber needs to look for submissions anywhere he can find them. I’m not expecting Urijah to smother Cruz and rain down ground and pound. If there’s an opening to grab a neck, Faber needs to take it and clamp down.
Bisping vs. Rockhold
Uhhh, Cheat I Guess?
Normally, Bisping has a pretty straight forward path to winning a fight. He doesn’t have a ton of power in his strikes, and his offensive grappling isn’t really strong enough to submit people, so he has to rely on his cardio. Bisping typically uses a lot of footwork and movement to get in, land some shots and get out, forcing his opponent to chase him. After three or four rounds of this, Bisping’s opponent is pretty tuckered out, his defense drops, and then DJ Mikey B can pour it on, getting a TKO stoppage.
This time, with not even two weeks’ notice, Bisping won’t have the cardio to run away for a prolonged period of time. Unless he’s secretly been punching at 10% power to save his gas tank, he’s not going to hurt a fresh Luke Rockhold. Luke is also a better and stronger grappler, so I’m not seeing any submissions, either.
That just leaves rampant cheating in Bisping’s arsenal. Whether it’s eye pokes, groin shots, or knees to a grounded opponent, Bisping will need to take every advantage to beat Rockhold. There’s a solid chance that he’ll get a couple of freebies in this fight.
You can watch Urijah Faber and Michael Bisping possibly use these strategies to attempt to win championship gold at UFC 199, only on pay per view!