MMA Record: 11-0
UFC Record: 4-0
Notable Wins: Jordan Rinaldi, Andrew Holbrook
Notable Losses: None
Last Fight: TKO win over Jordan Rinaldi
Fighter Profile: One of the top prospects at 155lbs, Gillespie is a dominant wrestler who has shown flashes of brilliance in the UFC with three stoppage wins in his first four UFC bouts. Gillespie pushes a high pace with his wrestling-first gameplan and he uses his takedowns to set up submissions and opportunities for ground-and-pound on the ground. He has also shown that he’s improving his striking and knockout ability on the feet. Gillespie looks like he could be a future star for the UFC in the lightweight division and the UFC is giving him a showcase fight in a co-main event spot to see what they have here.
MMA Record: 11-1
UFC Record: 4-1
Notable Wins: Anthony Njokuani
Notable Losses: Rustam Khabilov
Last Fight: Decision win over Joaquim Silva
Fighter Profile: A former contestant on The Ultimate Fighter, Pichel started off his MMA career with seven-straight knocout wins to emerge as a serious prospect in the lightweight division. After losing to Al Iaquinta on TUF, he was signed to the UFC but lost to Rustam Khabilov via devastating suplex KO in his debut. After missing a year, Pichel came back and picked up wins over Garett Whiteley and Anthony Njokuani. However injuries crept up yet again and he missed three years, only to come back and knock out Damian Brown in his return. Now finally healthy, Pichel will look to continue his career resurgence, and a win over a highly-touted prospect like Gregor Gillespie would be huge.
Fight Breakdown: I really like Gillespie in this fight, and I haven’t been surprised to see all the one-way betting action in his direction as Pichel is a great stylistic matchup for him. Gillespie is a dominant wrestler and he should be able to take Pichel down whenever he wants, particularly in the later rounds if Pichel begins to tire. On the feet it should be pretty competitive but even there I think Gillespie has a bit more upside. Overall though I think Gillespie goes to his wrestling in this one to get Pichel to the ground and work him with strikes and submission attempts. I think 15 minutes is a long time to spend in the cage with a savage like Gillespie and I think he will eventually get a stoppage win via submission or ground and pound to pick up the biggest win of his career and emerge as a serious prospect at 155lbs.
Prediction: Gregor Gillespie via submission