The main event of Bamma Fight Night London sees welterweight champion, Terry “The Dominator” Brazier, move down a weight class to take on lightweight champion, Rhys “Skeletor” McKee. Stylistically, this is a very intriguing fight.
More Domination From “The Dominator”?
Terry Brazier’s style isn’t always aesthetically pleasing, but it’s effective for winning fights. His striking lacks fluidity, but he’s competent enough to hang at range with most opponents. After trading shots initially – he intends to punch his way into the clinch where he can do his real work. Brazier wants to grind opponents against the fence, initiate a body lock or double leg takedown and drag them to the canvas. He’s not the most technical wrestler, but he makes up for it with brute strength and tenacity. While he doesn’t always finish opponents on the mat, he wins a lot of rounds with positional control. This could be a crucial factor in this bout, since he’s facing a lighter fighter who has struggled to defend takedowns in the past.
The Surging Prospect
At 22-years-of-age, Rhys McKee has a bright future regardless of the outcome of this fight. In his last bout, McKee put on a striking clinic and dismantled his opponent. When given space to operate, McKee is able to put together some beautiful combinations. I anticipate Brazier will keep his hands high, but McKee will take this as an invitation to rip the body – which he does with precision.
However, when Brazier intends to change levels, I’m not sure McKee will be able to stop him. Against a much smaller grappler in Richie Smullen, McKee was taken down repeatedly but landed enough strikes on the feet to secure a draw on the cards. McKee will obviously be training his counter-wrestling, but he’s giving up size and probably strength in this matchup. It’s also worth noting that McKee’s body type is less than ideal for stuffing takedowns.
A Clash of Styles
I’m confident McKee will dominate the striking exchanges at range, but I doubt the fight will stay at range. The question is whether McKee will be able to land enough on the feet or perhaps score a knockout to negate the positional control he’s bound to concede to Brazier.
Brazier looks like a full-sized welterweight, so it remains to be seen how the cut to lightweight affects him. If he’s depleted, he may not be able to blanket McKee for three rounds as he has done to previous opponents. A rough weight cut could also affect Brazier’s durability. In his last two fights, he was rocked badly but recovered in order to secure victories in both bouts. McKee has more power than his wiry frame would suggest.
At pick ‘em odds I could understand a play on Brazier, but I believe McKee is the right side at +155. However, if you’re wagering on McKee, I would keep your action small as there is a significant possibility that he gets squashed.
Pick: McKee +155