Do you ever find your fight predictions coming down to an internal battle between who you hope will win and who you think will really win, even if you don’t fully admit it to yourself until after watching the opponent’s hand raised? Do you recall times when you picked against a fighter you didn’t like who you knew had the advantage all along, and you refused to acknowledge the fact?
When trying to keep an open mind leading up to a fight, many of us find ourselves making predictions on who will win based on who we want to win, even if it’s only on a subliminal level. The difficulty lies in separating your personal feelings towards a fighter, whether positive or negative, from a fighter’s proven ability and fight history.
In this column, I will delve into the main cards of key UFC events and explore that unending struggle of Brain vs. Heart. This following is the third fight I’ve broken down headed into UFC 202 on Saturday.
Hyun Gyu Lim vs. Mike Perry
Mike Perry is making his UFC debut this Saturday and so, with no prior knowledge, I searched for any fight footage I could find. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find footage of his most recent bout, but I instead found his fight against Frank Carrillo from March earlier this year. While Perry did win the fight by knockout in the first round, there were some defensive points we can consider when going into this matchup against Hyun Gyu Lim.
Perry spent the vast majority of the fight with his hands low and his chin hanging out in the open. Even if you’re successful with that guard or lack thereof for a while, if you play with fire you’re going to get burned (just ask Anderson Silva). Perry did show some power in his strikes against Carrillo. However,t he was prone to overcommitting. On two notable occasions Perry actually ended his strikes with his back facing Carrillo, first with a winging overhand right and later with a right kick to the body. This is something Lim could easily take advantage of in this matchup.
Lim last fought over a year ago against Neil Magny, losing by TKO in the second round. Despite the loss Lim did show some positives in that fight. Lim had Magny rocked early on in the first round and it was actually Magny’s wresling which saved him and laid the groundwork for the finish in the second. Although even with Magny’s clear dominance on the ground, Lim remained actively fighting back until the end. After getting swept, Lim was quick to regain his guard and immediately attacked with an arm bar which ended an exciting scramble on the ground.
When looking at this fight it seems apparent that both men can be wild strikers. However, Lim has the experience on the big stage, fought higher level opponents, and from what footage I could find he appears to be more defensively savvy on the feet. Therefore, my brain’s picking Lim in this fight.
Brain’s Prediction: Lim via TKO in the second round.
I’m going to keep this next section short and sweet. I have a guilty pleasure for wild rock’em sock’em bouts and we might be having ourselves one with this matchup. As I mentioned previously, both men are prone to some wild striking which could lead to some on edge of your seat exchanges. I’d love to see a back and forth fight over three rounds and would be tempted to predict a draw if it weren’t for judges still being hesitant to award anything apart from a 10-9. As a result, I’ll be going with the man that’s entertained me before. Actually, scratch that; if these guys pull off the fight I hope to see, I don’t want to see either man walk away with a loss.
Heart’s Prediction: Split Draw.
READ THE PREVIEW “HEART VS. BRAIN” COLUMN…