DieHard Previews: UFC 252 with Clint MacLean

by Pub Sports Radio

UFC 252 Preview

By: Clint MacLean

UFC 252 is not the most stacked card we have had in 2020, but it is more than worth the pay per view price. The undercard has a few sketchy spots, but they should be fun and entertaining, and that’s what we are looking for, right? We are starting with heavyweights and ending with heavyweights, and that should be exciting. I am not under any illusions that the undercard isn’t great, but when you look at what we are getting from the main card, I think we can give it a pass.

On the undercard, we have the living legend Jim Miller returning for another opportunity to turn back the clock and lock up that $50K bonus. Jim is coming off a 1st round submission of young prospect Roosevelt Roberts, and he’s fighting another vet in Vinc “From Hell” Pichel, who also is coming off of a victory over Roberts. The interesting part about both fighters having off of a win against Roberts is the differences in how they achieved their victories. Miller has become something of a sub or bust fighter recently, and he is always dangerous in that first round. A young and inexperienced fighter Roberts allowed himself to go straight into Jim’s wheelhouse and got snapped, but he was winning that fight until he let himself get caught. Vinc, on the other hand, took over the fight with Roberts and showed off his gas tank. Vinc put a beating on Roberts for a full 15 minutes, and that is the key here. I think this fight is Jim early or Vinc late. I fully expect Jim to be the aggressive fighter in round 1, but we also know that Jim fades hard. Once Vinc starts to push, Jim will back peddle, and Vinc can even get a TKO later once Jim has lost the pop on his punches.

Another returning veteran on Saturday is Felice Herrig. We haven’t seen Felice in the better part of 2 years because of a blown ACL. Felice is a fan favorite and a pioneer of women’s MMA and Saturday we will see if she has what it takes to compete in the current landscape. The game has changed a lot, and the truth is told, Felice has not evolved with it. Felice is a hard-nosed pressure fighter who works best in the clinch and when she can bully her opponent. The problem with that this week is that she is facing Verna Jandiroba, who is a big-time BJJ player who is dangerous any time this fight is on the floor. Felice has been solid from a defensive grappling standpoint over her career, but this is a new threat for her. Felice should be the bigger, stronger fighter, and if she can just stay safe and grind, she has an outside shot as one of the biggest underdogs on the card.


The main card is an absolute treat!

The hottest new sibling UFC combo has one of its members fighting when Herbert Burns takes on Daniel Pineda. I have been the champion of the Burns Train for the last few years, and both Gilbert and Herbert are complete monsters in the cage. Daniel Pineda is a UFC drop out who has impressed in his last several fights but is coming off of a USADA suspension and having his last two wins overturned to No-Contests because of his admission to using PEDs. Burns is a solid favorite here, but I think it’s justified. The UFC has found a fighter who has some notoriety after fighting in the PFL but who is coming off a PEDs suspension and will likely be a bit of a shell of himself to fight Burns. Pineda has an offensive ground game, but even though most of his wins have come by submission, so have his losses. I think the UFC found a good opponent in Pineda who will give Herbert a good fight and a new highlight reel win.

We have former champion JDS taking on the 2nd biggest power striker in UFC history in Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Both men are coming off of a recent knockout loss to Francis Ngannou and are looking to plant themselves firmly as a contender while the loser will tumble down the rankings. This is a high powered heavyweight fight, and we can expect fireworks. We did see Allistair Overeem recently expose the ground game of Rozenstruik in their fight, and JDS has a 15-minute fight to work as opposed to a 25-minute fight. JDS is a former champion and a savvy veteran of the sport. Even though Jarizinho has a ton of power, I think he will get out-worked by the veteran JDS. JDS appears to have re-discovered the fountain of youth. He has all the skills to get this win, and it’s looking like he is in the best shape of his life coming into this fight.

The Co-Main Event features Sugar Sean O’Malley, who is facing his biggest challenge in the dangerous Marlon Vera. Vera has come out publicly looking to end the hype train that is O’Malley. This fight has some extra heat on it from what looks to be a young prospect looking to take what the other has. Both fighters are extremely exciting to watch and whoever comes out on top will be on the fast track to being a contender in the UFC’s bantamweight division.

The Main Event is the final chapter in the UFC’s Heavyweight GOAT trilogy. Stipe is the current Heavyweight champion welcoming challenger Daniel DC Cormier back into the cage. These giants have gone 1-1 and Saturday we will see just who is the true Heavyweight king. DC has an unmatched resume, and Stipe has the record for UFC Heavyweight title defenses. Both of these men have won their fights with the other by knockout, and now we are in the UFC Apex in the small cage, and 2 of the biggest men on the UFC roster are going to war for the 3rd time. I fully expect this fight to end in another brutal knockout, and the fight is as close as it gets. I am a HUGE DC fan, but with him being over 40, coming off a knockout loss, and having his next step being retirement, I simply cannot back him here. If you are looking at betting, I would say that this fight is Stipe or nothing.

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