Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

UFC on Fuel 5 Preview: Duane Ludwig vs. Che Mills

After crushing Chris Cope and then being crushed by Rory MacDonald, the UFC has finally decided to give Che Mills an appropriate opponent.


Striking: There are a number of great things about Duane Ludwig as a striker, but they are all negated by one very bad thing. Ludwig is a great volume striker, not necessarily because he’s the best technical striker in the UFC, but because he sets a very good pace. Often, Ludwig defeats an opponent by simply out-working them. He also has respectable power, winning by TKO ten times in 33 career fights. The big, glaring problem is his chin. Ludwig has been stopped by strikes four times, and was dropped multiple times by Nick Osipczak. That’s bad news against Che Mills, who himself has seven wins by TKO in 19 fights. No, Mills isn’t the most dangerous striker at 170 pounds, but he does have knockout power, and a multi-dimensional striking approach that features punches, kicks, and knees. In addition, Mills has never been knocked out, only losing by TKO to Rory MacDonald. This fight probably will be contested at striking distance; my prediction is that if Mills doesn’t win by knockout, Ludwig will win by decision.

Wrestling: Neither fighter is known for his takedowns at all. I’ve seen very brief glimpses of wrestling aptitude from Ludwig, who has decent takedown defense, while I haven’t seen nearly enough of Che Mills to make an educated judgement here. But I don’t think there will be too many takedown attempts in this fight.

Submissions: Both fighters are relatively weak on the ground. Mills at least has submitted two fighters in Ross Mason and Oriol Gaset who have winning records, but if this fight hits the ground, I would expect the man in top position to be focused on striking. Just as I don’t think there will be too many takedown attempts, I don’t think there will be very much grappling in this one.

Prediction: Che Mills by knockout. I feel this way – Mills has a better chance of winning by decision than Ludwig has of winning by knockout. Ludwig is a very active, highly paced striker, and that’s conducive to winning decisions, but Ludwig’s fight history is one of typically either finishing or being finished. And Ludwig hasn’t been knocking people out. The last man he stopped was Ryan Roberts, who tapped to strikes against Ludwig three years ago. I just can’t pick Ludwig to beat a striker with good knockout power.


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