Friday, December 11th, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada for the UFC TUF 22 Finale: “Edgar vs. Mednes” by Daniel Tom

Onnit's Biggest Sale of the Year


Frankie Edgar (19-4-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 34 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 72″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Uriah Faber (5-16-15)
  • Camp: Ricardo Almeida BJJ (New Jersey)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Excellent
  • Overall Fight Grade: A

Supplemental info:
+   Former UFC LW Champion
+   4x Div.1 Collegiate Wrestler
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   5 first round finishes
+   5 TKO victories
+   4 Submission wins
+   Good cardio & conditioning
^   Consistent pace & pressure
+   Excellent footwork & movement
^   Circles & angles intelligently
+   Volume & variety striker
+   Superb timing & transitions
+   Smooth chain wrestling
+   Relentless top pressure
^   Busy & effective ground striker
+/-Gets hit/recovers well


Chad Mendes (17-3)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 30 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 66″
  • Last Fight: TKO loss / Conor McGregor (7-11-15)
  • Camp: Team Alpha Male (Sacramento, CA)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate
  • Overall Fight Grade: A

Supplemental info:
+   2x Pac-10 Wrestling Champ
+   2x Div. 1 All-American Wrestler
+   7 KO victories
+   7 first round finishes
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Physically strong & athletic
+   100% Takedown defense rate
+   Quickly closes distance
^   Explosive entries
+   Solid power double-leg
^   Excellent timing
+   Good lateral movement
^   Deceptively agile
+   Dangerous right hand
+   Heavy top game
^   Controls action well


For the evenings main attraction is a much anticipated high-level affair, as longtime contenders Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes finally meet. Despite no belt on the line, this fight will arguably hold more implications on the Division’s future than Aldo vs McGregor. With both men used to high stakes, this 5 round main event should be par for the course. Given each fighters durability and takedown defense, I suspect this one to venture deep & primarily stay standing. Starting off on the feet, Frankie shows brilliant footwork as he’ll consistently circle one direction to come back and attack from the other.

Intelligently utilizing angles offensively & defensively, Edgar incorporates head movement off his strikes to exit out a different way than which he came in. He’ll need to stay disciplined here as movement will be Edgars best weapon and a key factor in this fight. Not to mention his movement may be the only thing between him and Chad’s fight changing power. Mendes being no footwork slouch himself, shows excellent lateral movement as he is arguably one the divisions most athletic fighters. Although deceptively agile on his feet, Chad generally will sit back in range and look to counter as he heavily relies on his natural abilities of speed & strength.

Though these attributes have largely been successful throughout Mendes career, this styling has traditionally faired poorly against Edgar. In Frankie’s fights with Benson Henderson(on a broad scope) & Gray Maynard(on a more direct scope), we saw the common thread of pressure fighting trouble the pressure fighter. More specifically in his first outing with Maynard, where we saw Gray use pressure boxing and wrestling against the cage to contain Edgar(a strategy we have strangely not seen implemented on the New Jersey Native since).

Chad Mendes more than has the tools to impose his own version of that recipe for success, especially if he dusts off the intensity shown in his rematch with the Champion Aldo. However, I have to go off what I see and that trend tells me Chad will likely look to counter fight. That said, Mendes shows improved striking off angles as he’ll side-step to exit. Though Edgar is a technical wonder in modern day MMA, he has also shown to be very hittable as Chad’s accurate left hooks and dangerous right hands are live intangibles in this fight.

As someone who’s looked forward to this match up for awhile now, I initially thought Mendes would have the advantage and be the one to knock off the Former Champ. As time and even Title shots have passed by Mr. Edgar, the game however has not-as I feel he’s arguably evolved more than his younger counterpart. Even if Chad comes out with said ferocity, Edgar’s relentless pace & striking volume continually shows to make the difference as he’ll seemingly suck the fight into his rhythm. And with the only person to successfully counter fight Edgar being Jose Aldo, Mendes may find himself playing catch up should he not come hard with the Answer early.

Official Pick: Edgar – Decision

Official Outcome: Edgar – KO – round 1.


Edson Barboza (16-3)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’11” Age: 29 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 75″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Paul Felder (7-25-15)
  • Camp: Ricardo Almeida BJJ (New Jersey)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Muay Thai
  • Risk Management: Good
  • Overall Fight Grade: B

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   Multiple Muay Thai Accolades
^   Record of 25-3 (22 by KO)
+   7 first round finishes
+   10 KO victories
+   Explosive fast-twitch striker
+   Devastating leg kicks
+   Accurate spin kicks
+   Lightning left switch kick
+   Dangerous right hand
+/-Requires space to operate
^   Consistently circles out
+   Good TD defense (83%)
+   Hard to hold down
^   Uses butterfly guard well
+   Excellent balance
–    Struggles when pressure fought


Tony Ferguson (19-3)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 31 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 76″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Josh Thomson (7-15-15)
  • Camp: 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu (California)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: B

Supplemental info:
+   TUF 13 Winner
+   2x All-American Wrestler
+   State Wrestling Champ (MI)
+   9 first round finishes
+   Purple Belt BJJ
+   10 KO victories
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Good head movement
+   Accurate jab-cross
+   Dangerous in-close elbows
–    Hands low-head upright on reset
^   Counter strike availabilities
+   Constant pace & pressure
+   Solid from front headlock
^   Threatens chokes/takes back
+   Active guard/excellent hips
–    Gives position for submissions


In a Lightweight tilt with possible Top 5 implications, Edson Barboza steps in to face Tony Ferguson in the evening’s co-main event. Riding a six fight winning streak, Tony has made his presence known in the stacked Lightweight division with his ever evolving style. From his solid wrestling base to his heavy handed boxing attack, Ferguson has steadily developed dangerous submissions & an unpredictable transition game. Vegas oddsmakers feel this style will give problems to more disciplined Muay Thai stylings of Barboza, as Edson comes in as the live underdog in this match up.

Consistently circling the outside, Barboza measures distance as he presents feints to set up his dangerous kicking game. From lightning fast left switch kicks to his crushing right leg kick, there’s little fat or fluff in Edson’s arsenal-as even his spinning attacks are accurate. As highlighted as his kicks may be, I believe Barboza’s overhand right will serve him best in this particular match up. Tony Ferguson shows very good head movement, but will often reset/retreat from strikes with his hands low and head upright. This could potentially open up the hard overhand rights of Edson as we saw him utilize these counters in his fight withDonald Cerrone .

Ferguson will however be the taller & longer man who has shown to steadily exploit this with his expanding tool kit. Despite the constant looming threat of Edson’s leg kicks, I feel they will have limited play given the stance-switching movements of Ferguson. Like many of Barboza’s fights, he requires a comfortable space in which to operate, making distance & pressure the key factor in this match as well. Luckily for Tony, this is something he’s shown to excel at as his solid conditioning allows him a pace that often breaks down opposition.

Displaying constant feints & movement, Ferguson deceptively dictates distance as he’ll change speeds with variating attacks. His offense is supplemented single-shot power and supported by a durable chin making him a live threat throughout the contest. Though I give Edson a technical advantage standing, I feel these said intangibles will at the very least level the playing field. On the ground however, is where I feel Ferguson has a solid leg up on his competition.

Though only officially credited with 10 takedown attempts in a 10-fight UFC tenor, Tony has shown almost every other way to get a fight to the floor. Wether he’s capitalizing on opponents failed attempts or diving on submissions, Ferguson is very dangerous in his transition game. Though Barboza shows solid takedown defense and is hard to hold down, he’ll have to dot his i’s and cross his t’s when making his way back to his feet. Both men are superb talents that have bright futures in this division, but I feel the fight-to-fight improvements of Ferguson will come to fruition here as his momentum, chin, and more well-rounded weaponry should win him this fight.

Official Pick: Ferguson – Inside the distance

Official Outcome: Ferguson – Submission – round 2.


Joe Lauzon (25-10)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 31 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 70″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Takanori Gomi (7-25-15)
  • Camp: Lauzon MMA (Boston, MA)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Boxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: B

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   Purple Belt BJJ
+   7 TKO victories
+   16 first round finishes
+   17 Submission wins
+   Furious & fast starter
+   Deceptively strong
+/-3-4 against southpaws
+   Accurate left hook
+/-Favors shell defense
^   Body & uppercut openings
+   Aggressive transition game
+   Effective ground striker
+   Dangerous submission variety
–    Gives position for submission


Evan Dunham (16-6)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 33 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 70″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Ross Pearson (7-18-15)
  • Camp: Dunham Jiu-Jitsu (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good
  • Overall Fight Grade: B

Supplemental info:
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   6 Submission wins
+   3 TKO victories
+   4 first round finishes
+   Consistent pace & pressure
+   Good footwork & movement
+   Underrated wrestling
+   Well timed double-leg
^   Excellent chaining & adjustments
+   Creative submission game
+   Active on bottom
^   Looks to sweep & scramble
+   Volume & variety striker
^   Top 3 sig. strikes landed at LW
+   Accurate left cross/check hook


In the deep water of Lightweights, long-time division staples Joe Lauzon and Evan Dunham finally cross paths. With a weekend full of amazing fights I can honestly tell you that this one on my top 3 must see. Both men’s technical aggression have left us privy to some of the most exciting fights that remind us why we love this sport. If my natural bias bleeds through for either fighter, I assure you it’s in my anticipation as I suspect to see each man dust off their unquestionable gameness for this one. Starting off standing is where these two fighters(who are often referred to as similar) couldn’t be more different.

Both men have shown to work diligently in making technical improvements to their striking game, but I feel Dunham has matured into the more well rounded threat. Weilding a consistent volume & variety of attack, Evan has quietly held a Top 3 standing in the UFC’s deepest division for significant strikes landed. More importantly than his punch-kick variations, I feel his movement will be the key difference in standing exchanges. Dunham shows disciplined footwork as he’ll smartly circle on the outside to establish attack angles, and utilize said footwork to angle-off defensively. Evan will however have to to be careful not to get drawn into unnecessary exchanges, as I give the power advantage to Lauzon standing.

Joe who employs more of a plotting Boxing style, has shown an improved ability to sit and counter with conviction whether he’s throwing inside elbows or his noted hard left hook. Primarily linear in his footwork, the movement issue may prove to be an up hill one for Lauzon with Evan’s said style. Dunham’s variating angles of attack may also pose problems for Joe, who will habitually revert to a shell defense which generally opens you up to uppercuts & body shots. Though Evan carries such tools in his arsenal, I feel his accurate left cross-check hook will have the most play in looking at Lauzon’s past fights against Southpaws.

Joe’s best approach on the feet will also be his best general approach to this fight, and that’s to close the distance early & often making this a <b>pressure fight</b>. Though Dunham is not one to physically or mentally break, he’s often been criticized for sometimes slow starts. If Joe can get points on the board early or sway momentum his way, he can use the pressure to possibly open up closing opportunities(an area in which he thrives) or at least ride out a lead.

I know what you’re thinking,“But what about the ground game?” the truth is when you have two technically well-versed grapplers with an aggressive scramble & submission game, you’re more likely to predict who dies next in The Walking Dead. I can however tell you that the key factor to the ground exchanges(or possible lack there of) will be decided in the wrestling department. Though both men have an underrated game, I believe Dunham should have a the advantage wrestling as I see that securing him a victory here. With a match up like this, no outcome should surprise you as I caution any plays here. Instead, I highly encourage you to sit back, enjoy, and appreciate the show that these men bring.

Official Pick: Dunham – Decision

Official Outcome: Dunham – Decision.

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • Ryan Laflare def. Mike Pierce
  • Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Jason Knight
  • Gabriel Gonzaga def. Konstantin Erokhin
  • Geane Herrera def. Joby Sanchez

Recommended Plays

Fantasy MMA Picks

High Tier Picks:

-Gabriel Gonzaga
-Frankie Edgar
-Tony Ferguson

Low Tier Picks:

-Joe Lauzon
-Geane Herrera
-Chad Mendes

Pieces for your parlay:

-Tony Ferguson
-Ryan Laflare

Props worth looking at:

-Ferguson – Inside the distance
-Dunham – by Decision

Fights to avoid:

– Herrera vs. Sanchez
– Wrzosek vs. Erosa
– Lloveras vs Gruitzemacher

For the complete analysis of future & past UFC events visit and for future breakdowns & your latest in world-wide MMA news, stay tuned & follow @MMALatestnws

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