UFC Fight Night 86 Newcomer Breakdown: Bojan Velickovic

Bojan-VeličkovićPrior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at former RFA welterweight champion Bojan Velickovic as he takes on fellow UFC debutant Alessio Di Chirico at Fight Night 86 in Zagreb, Croatia.   Bojan “Serbian Steel” Velickovic Hometown: Novi Sad, Serbia Age: 27 Height: 6’2” Reach: 76” Weight Class: Welterweight Camp: Elevation Fight Team Career Record: 13-3 Key Wins: Benjamin Smith Key Losses: Krzysztof Jotko, Gilbert Smith Background The Elevation Fight Team (by way of American Top Team) fighter has been training at some of the best gyms in the North America. He’s a long, rangy fighter from a muay thai background that enters the UFC with momentum coming off four straight wins including winning the vacant RFA welterweight title in early 2016. Strengths

  • Very good size for the weight class
  • Good in the clinch
  • Impactful leg kicks
  • Willing to press opponent against the cage and control for minutes at a time
  • Looking for submissions throughout fight
  • Ability to fight from behind in fights and get results
  • Well-conditioned


  • Hittable on the feet
  • Low output striker
  • Lacks one punch knockout power
  • Takedown defense a question mark



  Matchup against Alessio Di Chirico This is a surprisingly decent matchup between two prospects that I like more than most. Velickovic is the more known commodity having trained at top level camps in the United States and having fought some UFC caliber fighters prior to his signing with the organization. Italy’s Alessio Di Chirico is a bit more green coming from a rather unknown camp and having competed against a lower level of competition. That said, their skill sets are fairly similar. Both tend to rely on an outside kicking game on the feet. Di Chirico has a bit more pop in his hands, while Velickovic has the stronger technique. Velickovic does well to use his strength and push his opponents against the cage and control fights there, while Di Chirico looks for single leg takedowns and top control. I expect this to be a pretty competitive fight that should hit the scorecards. We should expect to see a little of everything in this contest. Velickovic to have Di Chirico against the cage, Di Chirico to have top control, and Velickovic to look for submissions on the ground should all likely happen in this bout. In this scenario, I prefer the more experienced fighter. Both fighters are making their promotion debut, so nerves could also play a part, however Velickovic is the better conditioned, well-rounded fighter at this point in time. This is a case of sitting back and watching both fighters perform to see just how well the Italian fighter’s skills translate to a higher level of MMA. UFC Ceiling The 27 year old is on the best run of his career and fighting with confidence coming out of RFA to join the world’s top MMA promotion. He’s been training at some of the best camps in the sport with American Top Team and most recently Elevation Fight Team. He’s got the length and physique to cause problems for many fighters in the division. He certainly has a well-rounded skill set, it’s difficult to see him moving into the top half of the division as there is no single dominating facet. With that said, he’s training with some excellent fighters in Matt Brown and Neil Magny and that can certainly improve his game. I like what I see from Velickovic, but need to see some dominant performances from him before I can believe he has the potential to be a top 15 welterweight.   Fight Film Check out Bojan Velickovic in some of his most recent fights:   Bojan Velickovic vs. Charles Byrd   Bojan Velickovic vs. Ben Smith

Written by Jay Primetown

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