Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

UFC on Fuel Preview: Phil De Fries vs. Stipe Miocic

Sometimes, the UFC puts together matches that make me scratch my head. Other times, the UFC puts together matches that make me think either they’re booking fights based on SILVA scores, or they have their own system, but I’m really on the right track with SILVA. Of course, the most likely explanation behind the UFC putting together a heavyweight fight between Phil De Fries and Stipe Miocic is that they see two up-and-coming heavyweights, both 1-0 in the UFC, and they find a fight between them to be very appropriate at this time.

If this fight isn’t on your radar, it probably should be. Heavyweight prospects are very hard to find, but De Fries and Miocic both register a SILVA score of above 50, placing them as above-average UFC fighters right now. Miocic made his UFC debut against a fairly tough opponent in Joey Beltran, and arguably beat Beltran in all phases of the MMA game. Beltran had his moments, particularly with his striking in the second round, but otherwise, Miocic out-struck Beltran, out-wrestled Beltran, and controlled Beltran on the ground very effectively.

Miocic’s opponent, Phil De Fries, had a somewhat easier opponent in Rob Broughton, but didn’t have an easier time winning. De Fries landed just 14 significant strikes against Broughton in 15 minutes of fighting, seemingly winning a decision with takedowns and guard passing. I missed the chance to watch this fight live, so I’m not quite sure exactly how De Fries looked, but the numbers seem to paint a picture of De Fries probably landing takedowns, but having a very difficult time with his conditioning. I don’t know that, I’m just speculating.


Like I said in the preview for Walel Watson and T.J. Dillashaw, SILVA is not the be-all or end-all of how good a fighter is, and Phil De Fries looks at the moment to be a fighter who SILVA overrates. At least, it’s hard for me to develop enthusiasm about a fighter who lands less than one significant strike per minute against Rob Broughton. I’ll take Miocic to win this one.


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