UFC Fight Night 130: Eric Spicely vs. Darren Stewart Fight Breakdown

Eric Spicely 

Age: 31
Nationality: American
MMA Record: 11-3
UFC Record: 2-3
Notable Wins: Thiago Santos
Notable Losses: Gerald Meeschaert, Antonio Carlos Jr., Sam Alvey
Last Fight: TKO loss to Gerald Meerschaert

Fighter Profile
: One of the most dangerous submission artists in the UFC middleweight division, Spicely has had an inconsistent run to begin his UFC career. In his debut he was stopped by Sam Alvey but bounced back with a huge upset submission win over Thiago Santos that really put him on the map. He followed that win over Santos up with another submssion over Alessio Di Chirico, but since then things haven’t gone well for Spicely as he was stopped by Antonio Carlos Jr. and Gerald Meerschaert. Spicely has a lot of finishing power but his lack of durability is going to hinder him in his career. He needs a win over Darren Stewart to continue his UFC career, and it will be curious to see if that pressure makes him perform better or worse in this spot.

Darren Stewart

Age: 27
Nationality: British
MMA Record: 7-3, 1 NC
UFC Record: 0-3, 1 NC
Notable Wins: None
Notable Losses: Julian Marquez, Karl Roberson
Last Fight: Submission loss to Julian Marquez

Fighter Profile: A knockout artist on the regional circuit in the U.K., Stewart has been a huge disappointment since signing with the UFC, going winless in his first four fights in the Octagon. Stewart has shown huge holes in his ground game and his striking has not lived up to expectations either, leading him to three-straight losses heading into this bout against Eric Spicely. The good thing for Stewart is that his fights have generally been exciting to watch, and that excitement factor has helped him secure another fight in the UFC when he probably doesn’t deserve it otherwise. And to be fair to him, he’s generally looked better since dropping down to middleweight as he was just outsized fighting as a light heavyweight. The Brit will get the chance to save his career on home soil, so we’ll see how he looks when he opens up the main card against Spicely this weekend.

Fight Breakdown: I can see this fight playing out in two ways. Either Spicely gets the fight to the ground and locks up a vicious submission as he’s did many times in the past, or Stewart is able to put the pressure on Spicely and break him. We’ve seen Spicely fold before and Stewart has the power to stop him. However, I just can’t ignore Stewart’s issues defending submissions and Spicely is one of the best on the ground right now in the middleweight division. I think Spicely is going to be able to get this fight to the mat and lock up Stewart in a guillotine choke or rear-naked choke for the win. But his lack of durability makes me hesistant to call him a lock here as I could see Stewart getting the upset. So it’s a pick for Spicely by submission, but a tentative one.

Prediction: Eric Spicely via submission

Written by Adam Martin.

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