The UFC action this Saturday from Nottingham, England begins with a battle of featherweight strikers. Robbie Peralta will look to get a win ten months after an unfortunate no contest against Mackens Semerzier, while Jason Young probably just wants to survive in the promotion.
Striking: Both fighters are primarily strikers, although Young will mix in some takedown attempts as well. Neither man has particularly good striking defense; Peralta was hit more than he should have been against Semerzier, while Young has yet to decisively out-strike a UFC opponent. Of the two, I believe Peralta has the better overall striking game. Peralta fights at a slightly higher pace than Young – both men have fought in the UFC three times, and Peralta has attempted 416 significant strikes, to 362 for Young. Peralta also packs a lot more power. While Young has won by TKO only three times in 14 fights, Peralta has 11 wins by TKO in 18 fights. This power was on full display in Peralta’s fight against Semerzier, as Peralta landed two knockdowns in that one. In this fight, I expect it to be mostly standing, and I think Peralta will not only land more strikes than Young, but is much more likely to win by knockout. I have to give the edge here to Peralta.
Wrestling: Both men have a striking base, but while Young will attempt a handful of takedowns when he fights, it’s very rare to see Peralta attempt one. In a fight that will probably take place primarily at standing distance, there’s a possibility that Young will be able to “steal” rounds with takedowns. If that is Young’s game plan, it will probably be tough to execute; Peralta has strong takedown defense, and is good at keeping fights standing, while Young is a slightly below-average wrestler by UFC standards. I see Young landing maybe one or two takedowns, but I don’t think it will be enough to turn the fight in his favor.
Submissions: Neither man is a submissions-based fighter at all. If the fight hits the ground, it’s most likely from a takedown by Young, and his is a ground and pound game, not a submission game. But even if Young does get Peralta down, I expect Peralta to just get back to his feet. Peralta does have a relatively recent win by triangle choke, but his opponent there does not have a strong record. I wouldn’t expect this fight to end by tap out.
Prediction: Robbie Peralta by decision. His takedown defense should be good enough to keep Young from stealing rounds with takedowns, and I think he’s the better overall striker. Peralta is more active with strikes than Young is, and packs more power as well. Ultimately, Jason Young’s identity in the UFC is as a striker, but he’s a fairly mediocre striker by UFC standards. Unless he’s ready to make some sudden improvements to his game, I have to pick Peralta to win this fight.