When we last left our heroes...I didn't get a chance to see episode 12, when Anthony Gutierrez missed weight, allowing David Grant to move on to the Finale without having to fight. But I saw the clip.
I know the one or two people that follow my writing get sick of hearing this, but this is just one of a bagillion reasons why I just can't bring myself to watch the show. Dana White defines "crazy" as 'irresponsible behavior and drunken stupidity'. I keep hoping for something more realistic, like Death Race 2000.
With that in mind Grant, fighting out of England, enters this weekend's bout with an 8 fight winning streak; his only loss came in his professional MMA debut. His last win was a quick (but scary as he was dropped and hurt early) RNC victory over Danny Welsh. Who is 6-34 (how someone with that record is even allowed to fight is beyond me).
Holdsworth enters the contest with much more hype surrounding him. Associated with Marc Laimon's Cobra Kai, he's proven his worth with some of the slicker grappling I've seen in the bantamweight division.
There isn't much else to say. He's won all of his fights, rather impressively (all four of his professional wins are by submission), and is one of the few fighters coming from TUF to make me believe we're looking at a legitimate prospect. Now it's a question of whether or not that hype is justified.
What both men can do: Holdsworth's game is on the ground. His long limbs allow him to take the back and control his opponent's body with ease. But it's the way he chains submission attempts that make him special. As you can see from his grappling highlight reel, there's a real understanding of how fluid grappling actually is. That it exists on a continuum; an armbar can leave you in a position for a triangle and vice versa, etc.
He also flicks a pretty solid jab. Which is funny because while he's not a striker, it's his best punch, and he likes to double up on it. Most grapplers don't opt for such a punch instead preferring for high impact kicks, or wild punches to threaten for the takedown.
Grant is also a solid submission fighter, owning 7 wins by way of submission, all of them either by rear naked choke or guillotine. But he's not a specialist per se. He throws a pretty solid right hand and an uppercut but he's usually looking to either get the fight to the ground or keep it on the feet and wait for an opening during the scrambles.
What both men can't do: His striking, like many MMA fighters, still needs 'seasoning'. That sentence makes it sound like we'll be watching a scene out of Hot Shots Part Deux, but you get the idea. In this case, he keeps his hands too low, and is prone to wild swinging. This could turn into an advantage if he keeps it standing and gets Holdsworth to slug it out.
While I think Chris isn't terrible on the feet, and even does some technical things well, he still strikes me as someone that can be bullied on the feet. And his takedowns don't exactly set the world ablaze either. Nonetheless, his grappling is truly top shelf, and I feel like his jab will keep him out of danger against the plodding Grant, and his grappling will be the difference.
In-Fight Soundtrack: Cold and Ugly.