The MMA world still weeps for the lack of a main event, but as I stressed in my last string of previews, the card isn't bad. It's just painfully mediocre. However, like many of the scraps on paper, there are some unique matchups that promise the kind of action we anticipate in this sport to being with.
Like this one.
One of the things we rarely see in a mixed martial arts fight is a match in which overlapping styles collide. If Jacare fights Demian Maia, for example, there's a good chance we won't get to see a grappling match. And that sucks. Anthony Pettis vs. Jeremy Stephens promised an elegant punch in the face contest, and instead we got a tragically uneventful wrestling match (a fight that should still give pause to Pettis fans who think he's still wrestle-box proof).
However, with Peralta and Corassani, we're getting exactly what we didn't pay for. Just like we knew Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice would involve suffering that would be legendary even in hell (to quote Grandmaster Pinhead), we know these two featherweights will box until they can't stop.
Both men are coming off wins. Peralta has had a very quiet, but very consistent career in the UFC thus far. North American MMA fans finally got to see him at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley show, in which he fought the once heralded Hiroyuki Takaya, managing to outgrit the gritty veteran on the feet.
Corassani is fresh off his win over Andy Ogle at UFC on Fuel TV 5. Like Peralta, he managed to box his way to victory despite a few hiccups in the first round.
What both men can do: As I've alluded to over and over above, both guys are more comfortable on the feet. Peralta has some pretty good fundamentals. He's got a solid jab, which he uses effectively, and a solid inside kick to the leg. He's fairly quick, and rarely out of position. He's got nice, tight boxing, and keeps his legs moving. He has yet to lose in the UFC which he owes to his kickboxing.
Corassani is like Peralta, if Peralta had a greater sense of self-importance. I'm not sure what that means, except that Corassani tried to play the role of television tough guy on TUF: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller, and did an abrasively poor job of it. He can also play soccer, so his body has probably evolved to throw highly effective leg kicks. [/Rogan]
Commentary aside, Akira does have some modest power, all of which comes from his right hand. He seemed to have his fight against Dennis Bermudez all but wrapped up before getting choked out. And he's shown a willingness to take one to give one.
What both men can't do: Akira's problem is that he also leaves himself wide open. Despite having power, he doesn't have the fundamentals. In fact, he throws what just might one of the laziest left hooks I've ever seen; a strike he seems to have perfected, since it loops so wide I can only assume it to be a tactic. Andy Ogle caught him directly on the temple, knocking him down twice in the first round as a result, so this is where I see the fight playing out: on the canvas.
Peralta will likely catch him. I wouldn't expect much in the grappling department. Both guys can be exploited on the ground, and could get worn down fighting to get back up, so this could be ugly if it goes into the later rounds.
I think Akira is tough enough to handle Robbie's power, but not tough enough to give it back.
Prediction: Robbie Peralta by Decision.