Maximo Blanco’s record almost says everything you need to know about him. His overall record is 9-5-1, which isn’t stellar for a participant in the UFC featherweight division. Two of the five losses are by disqualification – a sign of a serious lack of discipline on Blanco’s part. Blanco seems to be a fighter who simply has no regard for the actual rule set involved in a fight. He also has seven wins by KO/TKO, a result of the sheer aggression and finishing ability Blanco brings to the table.
Blanco’s opponent in this fight is Felipe Arantes, a fighter with a 2-2-1 record in the UFC. Arantes is a solid striker with a positive overall significant strike differential, but he hasn’t shown much besides that. Arantes hasn’t landed a knockdown in the UFC and has only landed five takedowns in five fights. Arantes is just a very average featherweight.
In fact, take a look at the overall statistics, and you’ll see Arantes and Blanco turn out to be very similar:
Blanco is better at not getting hit by strikes while Arantes is better at defending takedowns and staying out of submission attempts. As far as offense goes, Arantes and Blanco are almost dead even.
You might be wondering why Arantes has the higher FPR. There are three reasons for this. One, Blanco’s history of getting caught in submission attempts hurts a little bit. Two, Arantes gets a higher strength of schedule rating, largely on the basis of having fought Iuri Alcantara. Three, Arantes is 1-0 in UFC finishes while Blanco is 0-1.
Still, there are plenty of reasons to believe this is a very close fight. While Arantes has four career wins by submission, he hasn’t shown much submission offense in the UFC and that is unlikely to be a major factor in the fight. When I look at strikes and takedowns I see a fight that is pretty much a toss-up.
For me, the toss-up goes in favor of Arantes, for the reason I mentioned in the opening paragraph. There’s too much of a chance that Blanco will do something wild that will either get himself caught by a punch or submission hold, or get himself disqualified. Discipline is a very important thing for a UFC fighter to have, and Blanco simply has not shown the required discipline to win on a consistent basis.
Still, that only causes me to favor Arantes by a very slight margin, and I fully acknowledge that Blanco could easily prove to be the better fighter when all is said and done.
Pick: Felipe Arantes by decision
DEGENERATE GAMBLER’S CORNER
The statistics indicate a very close fight, and sure enough, Arantes and Blanco are both -110. I can’t put money down either way, but I’ll be tempted to place a small bet on Arantes if he goes significantly into plus money territory (+130 or better). Otherwise, the data I have is pretty much in agreement with the sportsbooks, so there’s no reason to put a bet down.