MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Masvidal vs. Cruickshank Set For UFC On FOX 12

Jorge Masvidal vs Billy Evangelista A violent encounter between two lightweight strikers has been added to the growing UFC on FOX 12 card. The world’s top MMA promotion yesterday announced that Jorge Masvidal will take on Daron Cruickshank at UFC on FOX 12, which is set for July 26 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA. It’s a three-round matchup, and it will be part of the UFC on FOX 12 preliminary card. I think this is an absolutely sensational matchup between two of the most talented strikers in the UFC lightweight division and I think it will certainly be in contention for “Fight of the Night” when it’s all said and done. Masvidal (26-8) made it to the UFC following the fall of Strikeforce and so far he has gone 3-1 inside the Octagon with wins over Pat Healy, Michael Chiesa and Tim Means and a loss to Rustam Khabilov. Just 29 years of age, Masvidal is an excellent boxer with underrated wrestling and a submission game that is solid to boot. He’s looked great in the UFC so far, but he has shown one hole, and that’s his striking defence as both Khabilov and Chiesa of all people were able to knock him down with strikes. He did rally to win the fight with Chiesa, but he lost to Khabilov and if he isn’t careful against Cruickshank, another dangerous striker, he could be in trouble in this matchup. Cruickshank (15-4) is a TUF 15 veteran and is a surprising 5-2 in the UFC overall with wins over Erik Koch, Mike Rio, Yves Edwards, Henry Martinez and Chris Tickle and losses to Adriano Martins and John Makdessi. The 28-year-old has excellent striking, especially in regards to his leg kicks, and he has some underrated wrestling skills too. However, just like Masvidal his striking defence is an issue and his chin has let him down multiple times throughout his career. Although his flashy striking style will keep him employed by the UFC for a while, if he doesn’t improve his defence he will never be able to take the next step in his career. But if he can improve his defence and take over Masvidal in impressive fashion, he will be a surprising dark horse contender at 155lbs. As far as the betting line goes, even coming off that sensational knockout loss of Koch, look for Masvidal to enter the bout as a 2-to-1 favorite or possibly a bit higher over Cruickshank, who historically doesn’t get a ton of respect from the betting public. I am leaning towards Masvidal in this matchup because I believe he is more well rounded, but he does have holes in his striking defence and if Cruickshank can exploit them then he can pull off the upset. Regardless, it’s a good test for both fighters at this point in time, and it should be fantastic to watch when these two throw down this summer.

Written by Adam Martin.

Leave a Reply

The MMA Analysis – UFC 173 Preview

UFC 173’s Anthony Njokuani: ‘I’m gonna pick him apart’