UFC on Fox 21 Breakdown: Sam Alvey vs Kevin Casey

Sam-Alvey-752x440Prior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we look ahead to the preliminary headliner at UFC on Fox 21 as Sam Alvey takes on Kevin “King” Casey in Vancouver, Canada.   Sam Alvey (Record: 27-8, -210 Favorite, Fighter Grade: C-) The Wisconsin born and raised middleweight had been on a two fighting losing streak before making quick work of Eric Spicely at UFC Fight Night 91 in July. Alvey looks to make it two in a row less than two months later in Vancouver. The Team Quest product continues to prove himself in the UFC’s middleweight division. He’s won four of his last six fights in the UFC. Not only has he won those four fights, but he has won them all by stoppage. Alvey has a reputation for sometimes being tentative on the feet looking for his shot, but he does land over 3.26 significant strikes per minute inside the octagon. Not only that, but he has shown to be accurate successfully landing 51% of his attempts. Alvey counters really well on the feet and has deceptively big knockout power. He doesn’t take huge swings, but when he lands clean, he can put an opponent out with punch. His striking defense isn’t the best, but he has a very good chin and is a tough guy to finish. He holds a blue belt in jiu jitsu, but rarely needs to use it because he has excellent takedown defense. He’s defended 87% of takedowns attempted against him in the octagon. The way to beat Alvey is sticking to the outside and beating him with volume. Strikers that possess a high work rate have proven to be his kryptonite during his career.   Kevin Casey (Record: 9-4, +175 Underdog, Fighter Grade: D+) The Ultimate Fighter 17 alumnus is looking to rite the ship after a run of disappointing results. His last fight was a split decision draw to Elvis Mutapcic. Casey is looking for his first win since July 2015. The Black House product’s game begins and ends with his jiu jitsu. He’s a black belt in BJJ and has a suffocating style once he’s able to get top control. In the two times in the UFC he’s been able to secure more takedowns than his opponent; he’s been able to win. The problem for Casey has been his ability to secure takedowns. He only averages .91 takedowns per 15 minutes in the octagon and only secures 25% of his attempts. On the feet, he does have some power in his hands, but tends to slow down significantly in his fights. By the third round, he’s usually very tired and ends up losing the final round offering little in attack.   Match-up This is an important match-up for both fighters. Given Kevin Casey’s run of results, he likely needs to win this fight to stay in the UFC. Sam Alvey came off a win in his last bout and needs a win here to get himself in a position for a fight against a potential top 15 middleweight towards the end of the year. Sam Alvey is a fighter who excels against inactivity on the fight. He can take advantage of fighters with limited volume landing solid combinations and ultimately getting a finish. Casey plays right into Alvey’s strengths due to his lack of volume, poor offensive wrestling, and limited cardio. Look for a fairly competitive first round that is contested on the feet. As the fight progresses, Alvey will take over as his striking is consistent over three rounds. Casey has been knocked out four times in his career and is likely going to be knocked out again. Given Alvey’s punching power, there’s little doubt that he’ll be able to land in this fight. As Casey tires and starts to shoot for takedowns with minimal success, he’ll give up too many opportunities for Alvey to land a big shit to put him away. Alvey will win this bout and should do so by knockout. Props haven’t been released for this fight yet, but it will certainly be a play worth considering once available.

Written by Jay Primetown

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