This is a match up of two quietly successful Middleweights from The Ultimate Fighter. Both Chris Camozzi and Nick Ring were part of the cast for the Team Liddell vs Team Ortiz season of TUF and both were unable to take part due to injury, Camozzi suffering a broken jaw in victory during the fight to make it into the house and Ring from a knee injury during training.
This is actually Camozzi's second run with the UFC with a one fight stint in Shark Fights in between, with a record of 6-2 in that time. The 26-year-old Camozzi is a large Middleweight at 6'3" and is fighting out of Factory X Muay Thai/MMA in Colorado.
Ring is a bit older at 34, and hails from Champions Creed Martial Arts in Calgary and has also spent time at Tristar Gym. Ring has a wealth of fighting experience with 14 pro MMA fights (3-1 in the UFC) and also has pro Muay Thai and Boxing experience. While Ring is the smaller fighter he is well built for a Middleweight.
Both are primarily Muay Thai strikers, but with different styles. Right now Ring is likely the more technical boxer, with straighter, crisper punches and fairly good defensive fundamentals. The Canadian has good kicks as well, but he prefers mostly the throw hands and has pretty good jab.
Camozzi's punches are little less ascetically pleasing, but is a very rangy puncher and his lunging punches take full advantage of his reach. Camozzi thrives when he is coming forward, when his long reach seems to surprise opponents.
Neither is much of clinch striker, both preferring to grapple, which will be addressed next.
Camozzi is currently a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and is a fairly solid wrestler, good at stopping takedowns. His strategy for staying off his back is dominating the clinch. Camozzi moves forward and when fighters clinch with he gets double underhooks and drives them into the fence. He will take fighters down and work some heavy top game and we've haven't seen much of his bottom game. He did get a guillotine choke on the undercard of the UFC on Fox 2 but it was a dark match.
While Ring's striking background might lead one to believe his weakness might be the ground, but it is likely his strength. He is a good wrestler and a very good submission grappler. He gets top position and then throws heavy ground strikes, and will take a submission if the opportunity presents itself.
This is an interesting match up as both fighters are fairly solid Middleweights with the potential to crack into the upper levels of the division. Their striking is an intriguing match up as Ring will have to deal with the reach and size of Camozzi. Ring did deal with a large fighter in James Head by submission but struggled with the strong Tim Boetsch.
Camozzi's grappling very well could be what costs his this fight, but he is a fairly explosive athlete and it might be very difficult for Ring to keep him down. His striking very could catch Ring off guard, but Camozzi isn't the most defensively sound striker, so it is very possible Ring scores more on the feet.
I think Camozzi has the makings of a good Middleweight and he shows improvement each time out, and I think his arrow will continue to be up as he squeaks by Ring.
Fight Prediction: Chris Camozzi by Decision.