McKenzie vs. Riley & Tavares vs. Yang Latest Additions To UFC on FUEL TV 3
Two new bouts have been booked for the UFC’s third stint on FOX sister station FUEL TV.
We announced earlier today that Amir Sadollah and Jorge Lopez are set to square off on the card and now Cody McKenzie vs. Aaron Riley and Brad Tavares vs. Dongi Yang will join them during the May event.
With a featherweight headliner in place between the fast rising Dustin Poirier and the equally talented “Korean Zombie”, UFC on FUEL TV 3 is set to go down from the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. on May 15.
Aaron Riley is one of the sports most experienced fighters. Holding a 30-13-1 pro MMA record, the crafty veteran is on his third UFC contract with a 50/50, 3-3 record in his latest stint with the promotion.
McKenzie has become sort of this strange, hero to the world of MMA hardcore fans. His interesting personality, coupled with his impressive grappling abilities have made him a favorite amongst some of the sport’s most loyal followers. However, this Ultimate Fighter (season 12) veteran finds himself in a must win situation following his last two outings, both of which were losses.
Brad Tavares is a Hawaii based fighter who will look to bounce back from his only career defeat against Aaron Simpson at UFC 132, he took the fight on short noticed and was outwrestled (ala the clinch game) in route to a three-round decision loss.
Coming in to face the Ultimate Fighter Alum is three fight UFC veteran Dongi Yang. Yang entered the UFC with an unbeaten record, but as many stories go was halted by his UFC debut opponent Chris Camozzi at UFC 121. He was able to bounce back from his UFC debut loss with a win but failed to find the same success against Court McGee in his third UFC outing.
Continue to next page for the “Editors Breakdown and prediction for these two fight.”
First things first, this bout between Brad Tavares and Dongi Yang should deliver some good action. Both men are finishers at heart and this will likely roll over into this upcoming matchup.
Tavares has only had one victory go to decision and holds to his credit four-wins by TKO or KO and two by submission. Dongi on the other hand opened his career with a huge nine-fight finishing streak on the Korean and Japanese circuits which earned him his spot in the UFC.
This is a hard match to call, it’s really any man’s game in my eyes. Yang is a thick guy with heavy hands and a good ground and pound game and Tavares is also heavy handed with an aggressive attack.
While I frown on anything to do with MMA Math, the two fighters do share one common opponent in Court McGee. Analyzing this fight based on the common opponent you would give the edge to Yang. Even though they both lost to McGee, Yang had more success than Tavares against The Ultimate Fighter winner and took the fight to decision, while Tavares lost via submission in the third round of their Ultimate Fighter semi-finals match.
Tavares stands about two inches taller and holds a one-inch reach advantage over the Korean Top Team fighter, he likely walks around heavier as well, which gives him the obvious size advantage.
Does size help in fights? It absolutely does when fighters are so evenly matched and because of that I am picking Tavares to win by being the bigger man. I don’t see either getting finished in this bout, but the fact that these two always look for the kill should really deliver for the fans.
Continue to next page for the “Editors Breakdown and prediction for the second announced fight.”
Off the bat, I’ll just call it out and say that I think Riley dominates this fight with experience, strength and a better overall game.
Just from the analytical stand-point, unless McKenzie can somehow outsmart Aaron, grab his neck and slap on one of his infamous guillotine chokes, he has little chance of taking out the crafty MMA veteran.
Riley is a journey man at best, but he has a wealth of experience in the sport and that experience will carry him a long way in this fight. He is durable and strong and even though he is coming off of a loss to Tony Ferguson (doctor stoppage via broken Jaw) he is still a guy who can make it a fight against anyone in the game today. Additionally, he hasn’t dropped two consecutive contests since 2007 so you can look for him to come into this fight hungry for a win.
McKenzie started out his career with an incredible 12-fight unbeaten streak, eleven of which he won with that “infamous guillotine” choke I was talking about earlier. He took to the Ultimate Fighter house to earn his way into the UFC, made it to the quarterfinals but hit a road block in the form of featherweight fighter Nam Phan and was stopped with punches.
While he may have won his UFC debut over “one and done” UFC fighter Aaron Wilkinson, his unbeaten pro-record was stopped by his next UFC opponent and he followed that up with a second loss in the promotion as well. (Both by submission)
The submission artist has now dropped his last two-fights by none other than RNC’s (chokes) and has proven that being a one-trick pony doesn’t always pay off when fighting the world’s best.
Again, this is Riley’s fight to lose, he knows he has to stay out of the choke of McKenzie and I am sure he will be working on that and drilling the defense until he steps in the cage.