UFC Fight Night 118: Cerrone vs. Till: Saturday, 10/21/2017
Exclusive Fight Pass Prelims: 8:30 AM MST
Main Card: 12:00 PM MST
Jan Blachowicz VS Devin Clark
This fight is one I personally grew more and more excited for as I studied tape on each of these gentlemen… Neither of them is a stranger to a 3-round decision but something about the way they both tend to push a heavy pace on their opponents has me optimistic. According to Bovada, Devin Clark is the slight favorite on the opening odds for this fight with what I believe to be good reason, even making this a nice betting opportunity for my fellow degenerate gamblers out there given that the lines are so close…
When going back and reviewing some of Jan Blachowicz’s previous fights, you will tend to notice a few consistencies. First of all, his striking is at its best at a longer range; he may appear to have the build of a stocky pocket boxer but really does his best work just out of reach of his opponents. Even against “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson, who is known for his lanky body type, Blachowicz was able get within range, land his devastating lead uppercut to hook combinations, and get just out of range avoiding many of Gustafsson’s counter punches.
Secondly, he throws quick, powerful, and surprising kicks to the head and body. As a matter of fact, this man holds 1 of the only 2 finishes in a fight using kicks to the body in the light heavyweight division which he accomplished against Illir Latifi.
Finally, Jan Blachowicz is at his absolute worst when he is put on his back which is literally what cost him his last 2 fights. Which brings us to our next contestant…
Devin Clark was a name I was unfamiliar with approaching this weekend but was pleasantly surprised by his resume when doing a little more research. Seeing the way that Clark is able to utilize the constant threat of his wrestling pedigree mixed with his fast and dynamic striking was incredible. However, he was tested against Alex Nicholson in his UFC debut in a fight in which he was handily winning until running into a devastating strike by Nicholson that put him straight to sleep. It is worth noting that Devin Clark made his UFC debut at 185 lbs. and has since returned to 205 lbs. claiming two victories since than at the heavier weight class.
Although I was very impressed watching Jan Blachowicz in some of his previous fights and was optimistic for his return to the octagon, once I witnessed the speed, power, and more importantly the wrestling finesse of Devin Clark I can’t help but back him in this prediction.
Clark offers simply too many problems for Blachowicz that I don’t fully believe he is equipped to deal with. Don’t get me wrong, if Jan is able to land one of his flaming left hooks above the neck on Clark, there is a good chance we see a loss of consciousness. Nonetheless, Devin has shown that he deals with powerful strikers perfectly by initiating his very high level wrestling and forcing a horizontal state upon his opponents with ease. As previously mentioned, Blachowicz does not usually react well from his back. While he makes multiple attempts at arm bars and triangles from that position, they never seem to follow through and he is ultimately controlled until the end of the round which is exactly what I anticipate happening this weekend.
Prediction: Devin Clark Via unanimous decision