UFC 197 Newcomer Breakdown: Cody East

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPrior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at heavyweight Cody East who was noticed by Dana White in a recent episode of the Fight Pass series, “Looking for a Fight.” East makes his debut against journeyman Walt Harris at UFC 197 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cody “The Freight Train” East Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico Age: 27 Height: 6’3” Reach: 77” Weight Class: Heavyweight Camp: Jackson-Winklejohn MMA Career Record: 12-1 Key Wins: None Key Losses: None Background The two time New Mexico high school state wrestling champion is one of the top heavyweight prospects in North America. At 27 years of age, East already has a wealth of experience. He was the Legacy Heavyweight Champion prior to making the jump to the UFC. Strengths

  • Very good footwork for a heavyweight
  • Aggressive striker that is willing to engage from the onset
  • Sharp over hand
  • Creative kicker when he has space to use them
  • Can certainly take a punch


  • Conditioning is a real question mark
  • Troubled past that he will have to continue to answer questions about
  • Can strike off his back, but hasn’t shown ability to get back to feet
  • Too reliant on right sided attacks



    Match-up against Walt Harris Two of the more athletic heavyweights in the UFC square off at UFC 197 as promotion newcomer Cody East takes on returning UFC heavyweight Walt Harris. Harris has the size advantage in this bout with a couple inch difference in both height and reach. Both prefer to strike and do their best work when they can control the stand up. Both have shown improving striking skills in recent fights which should make this an entertaining bout. The biggest difference in this bout is toughness. Harris certainly isn’t able to take the caliber of strike that his opponent can. East is the more resilient fighter and is capable of eating a punch to take one. In the heavyweight division, that is the difference between a lengthy career and one that cannot get off the ground. I expect this bout to be a fairly even contest until Harris’ chin gives out and East is able to get a finish in his first fight in the world’s biggest MMA promotion. UFC Ceiling Cody East is a fighter with a lot of promise inside the octagon. He has better movement than most light heavyweights and a constantly improving striking game. His overhand right is crisp and he’s able to land it with accuracy. He combines that with a decent wrestling game. Out of the cage, he has a troubled past with some incidents with the law. If East can stay out of trouble and stick with a consistent fight schedule, he has the tools and ability to make a name for himself in the heavyweight division. He will need to work on his defensive game on the ground, but overall his offensive awareness in the standup will give a lot of fighters problems. Look for East to start well in the UFC, but will need to further polish his game if he’s to challenge the more physically imposing fighters in the division. Fight Film Check out Cody East in some of his most recent fights:   Cody East vs. Kevin Asplund   Cody East vs. Roy Boughton Embedding disabled, will have to watch on YouTube   Cody East vs. Vernon Lewis

Written by Jay Primetown

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