Saturday, November 7th 2015 UFC Fight Night 77: Belfort vs. Henderson


Kevin Souza (15-3)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 31 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 74″
  • Last Fight: KO win / Katsunori Kikuno (3-31-15)
  • Camp: DS Team (Brazil)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Boxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: C-

Supplemental info:
+   Jungle Fight Champion
+   14 KO victories
+   11 first round finishes
+   KO power/dangerous hands
+   Accurate left hook
^   Favors R. Cross body set-up
+   Good movements & feints
–    Keeps hands low
^   Looks to draw/bait counters
–    Counter right hand availability
–    Lead leg vulnerabilities
^   Leg kicks & single-leg grabs
–    TD availability/susceptible defense
+   This camp at Blackzilians
–    Defensive & inactive from bottom

UFC Fight Night: Soriano v Skelly

Chas Skelly (14-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’11” Age: 30 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 73.5″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Jim Alers (2-14-15)
  • Camp: Team Takedown (Texas)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Boxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: C+

Supplemental info:
+   NAIA All-American Wrestler
+   7 Submission victories
+   5 first round finishes
+   Excellent & effective scrambler
^   Always looks for the back
+   Good knees from clinch
+   Strong lead right hand
+   Shows competent leg-lock game
+   Physically & mentally strong
–    Hands drop off punches/exchanges
–    Left hand/guard low
^   Shows right hand availability
+   Strong TD’s from clinch
+   Durable chin/never stopped
+   Effectively/awkwardly enters space


In another fun and classic styles match-up, Kevin Souza welcomes Chas Skelly to Brazil. Though his first fight overseas/in Brazil, Skelly’s mental toughness and stated preparation for this bout should negate this. Chas’s most challenging aspect of this fight will certainly be in the standing exchanges. Though working hard and showing improvement on his striking, Skelly tends to retract his hands low off punches and exchanges. Specifically, he keeps his left hand/standing guard low, opening up right hand opportunities.

This could be especially bad considering Kevin Souza wields a deadly right hand. In watching film on Souza it’s clear he leans heavily on his boxing skills, as he appears to structure his MMA game to support it. Kevin likes to keep a low stance(to increase TD defense) and generally low hands(to bait counter strikes). From here, he favors a lead right Cross body shot to further his effort of drawing out offense. Often he’ll throw this at a blatant half-speed in order to set up his dangerously accurate left hook. These deceptive speed changes are signs of a good striker, and the strong point of Kevin’s game.

That said, Chas Skelly’s shown pressure fighting style doesn’t suggest he’ll stay & play Souza’s game for long. Though not the prettiest of technique, Chas shows the power & ability to change the pace and course of the fight. Particularly, Chas has an accurate lead right hand which he doesn’t shy from in making his entries. This could play a big factor standing given Souza’s susceptibility to right/counter right hands(shown in the Eddiva fight). Though Skelly can overexpose himself leaning forward on entries, Souza’s low stance & lack of kicks/knees(for fear of TD’s) should provide an open lane for Chas to test his shots.

Though awkward, Skelly is overall effective in entries as he looks for single-leg & body-lock TD’s. I suspect he’ll get this fight to the floor given Souza’s vulnerable hips & overall rudimentary TD defense. Though Kevin has competency in using the cage, he shows to be largely defensive & ineffective from the bottom. Though I’m sure Kevin has been working very hard & improving this part of his game, as he’s spent a lot of time with the Blackzilians this camp. Those intangibles aside, I don’t see him on the same technical or competitive level as Skelly.

Superior wrestling & submission game aside, it’s Skelly’s scrambling ability that sets him apart. Always looking of take the back or to hit submissions in transition(of which he has a deep arsenal of) it’s hard to see Kevin making it out of the kitchen without being burned. If you’re looking for “high scoring finisher” for Fantasy MMA, Then your eyes are probably looking toward Souza. But unless Kevin catches Skelly with an intercepting “home run” shot, I’m fairly certain Skelly takes this and possible puts him away.

Official Pick: Skelly – Decision

Official Outcome: Skelly Submission (round 2)

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