UFC Fight Night 91 Newcomer Breakdown: Eric Spicely

Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at TUF 23 competitor Eric Spicely as he debuts against “Smilin” Sam Alvey at UFC Fight Night 91 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.   Eric “Dream Catcher” Spicely Hometown: Olneyville, Rhode Island Age: 29 Height: 6’1” Reach: 73” Weight Class: Middleweight Camp: Tri-Force MMA Career Record: 8-0 Key Wins: None Key Losses: None Background Eric Spicely competed on The Ultimate Fighter 23 losing in the semifinal round to eventual winner Andrew Sanchez.  On the show he fought at light heavyweight, but is dropping down a weight class for his UFC debut. Outside of MMA, Spicely had previously been a pro wrestler out of Rhode Island. Strengths

  • BJJ brown belt
  • Strong wrestler with a solid submission game
  • Aggressive on the ground looking for submissions
  • Does an excellent job finding the back of opponents


  • Very little skill in the standup
  • Only turned pro three years ago
  • Lacks punching power
  • Too reliant on takedowns



  Match-up against Sam Alvey This match-up is pretty cut and dry. Eric Spicely is a very predictable fighter. In nearly every fight he’s been in, he goes for a single leg right from the start. If he’s able to secure a takedown he’s very much a threat with submissions. He’s very effective finding the back of his opponent and working for chokes. When on his back, he’s very capable with triangles and armbar attempts. On the feet, he’s a novice when it comes to the striking. He’s looked lost in stand-up exchanges which is a real problem in this fight. Sam Alvey  has three wins in the UFC; all of which have come by knockout. Alvey isn’t the most dynamic fighter out there, but he has big time knockout power and quality takedown defense. He’s defended 83% of takedowns attempted on him during his run in the UFC. I think it will be difficult for Spicely to secure takedowns in this bout and forced into a stand up exchange, Alvey should be able to land a big shot and get a knockout win. Alvey by KO/TKO is +130 which is a nice price for a fight that should be one way traffic. UFC Ceiling Eric Spicely has a really nice grappling game if he’s able to get a fight to the ground. He’s good in transition and has nice variety in the submissions he’s capable of pulling off. His problem is that he’s very one dimensional. His striking game leaves a lot to be desired. On the feet he offers almost nothing. His striking is rather novice and he doesn’t possess big time power. As he takes on fighters in the UFC, his predictable approach to fights will be exposed and he’ll be forced into striking exchanges where he’ll be at a big disadvantage. Unless his striking improves to be at least serviceable, he won’t be able to stick in the promotion. Fight Film Check out Eric Spicely in some of his most recent fights: Eric Spicely vs. Harley Beekman Eric Spicely vs. Andrew Sanchez Eric Spicely vs. Elias Urbina

Written by Jay Primetown

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