UFC Fight Night 27 is this Wednesday, and you'll still be thinking 'the main event can't come soon enough' as you watch the Facebook preliminaries.
History Lesson: I'm pretty sure, as is usually the case with the Facebook prelims, there's a TUF connection here but at this point, I know the episodes by their youtube highlights. So I couldn't tell you if Cummings is the guy from the season where Michael Bisping slips off an air hockey table, or the season where Dana White accepted this lunatic onto the show.
No matter how many times Dana precedes each season with "this is gonna be the craziest season ever!", it's hard to fall for a mantra that is reflected by bouts like this. Truth be told, there is nothing crazy about this match. Nonetheless, Cummings is on a two-fight winning streak if we don't count his loss on the show, and Alloway was last seen getting taken down over and over against Ryan LaFlare in Sweden.
What both men can do: Cummings is like Matt Brown, without the inexplicable winning streak, high octane offense, and overall talent. That probably sounds like a dig, but it really isn't. Not many people can do what Brown does, but this might have been a straight comparison with no caveats only a day removed from Brown's loss to Seth Baczynski. Cummings has knack for finding submissions, but especially chokes. Four of his eight submission wins are by choke, and he's constantly looking for guillotines, brabos, and d'arces in the scrambles.
He also has a decent right hand, and doesn't look out of his element on the feet. Alloway is billed as a striker, and so he is. While he's a bit slow, and plodding for a guy with his skillset, he's fairly diverse in the standup. This was on clear display with his front kick knockout over Manuel Rodriguez at UFC on FX 6.
He's also got a crafty left hand, which uses in both stances at times, either as a cross, or a hook. While his four submission wins say more about his opposition than his ability, his active guard from the bottom compliments his striking pretty well.
What both men can't do: Besides Alloway choosing a De Palma reference for a nickname, his takedown defense needs a lot of work. While he adjusts well stuck in the clinch, and can get good leverage on his knees inside, he has absolutely no sprawl, and his cardio isn't good enough to defend for three full rounds. In addition, he leaves his hands very low.
Cummings is not gonna do well against guys he can't take down. It's impressive that he went the distance with Ryan Jimmo, but durability and toughness will only take you so far. It will be enough against Alloway, who Cummings will be able to take down, and position for chokes against.
X-Factor: John Leguizamo.
Prediction: Zak Cummings by Brabo, round 2.
History Lesson: Bowling seemed like a young(ish) fighter poised to make some noise as a prospect when he and Bobby Voelker engaged in a slugfest at Strikeforce- Challengers 8. He was undefeated at the time, and now four losses later (two of them to Voelker in a memorable trilogy, as far as trilogies among journeyman go), he's likely one loss away from a UFC pink slip. Trujillo likewise impressed at first, at least in the UFC, but looked lost against Nurmagomedov at UFC 160.
What both men can do: Both guys are fairly similar. Bowling has very above average power, not just in his metacarpels, but his metatarsels as well. He has a sneaky, but very powerful left hook from his traditional stance, and loves to throw kicks with both legs to punctuate exchanges. He also has a very strong double leg takedown, which is where I think people became really high on Bowling. He does a good job mixing his offense up, and on paper, seems like a world beater.
Abel, as I said, is quite similar. While his power hasn't manifested itself in a high knockout percentage, it could easily be a factor. He's got strong knees, and a solid right hand. But this leads me to the major difference between the two which is that...
What both men can't do: Trujillo seems lost when the fight doesn't go his way. Unlike Bowling, he's the kind of fighter who doesn't follow up well. He may land a good strike here and there, but he never seems capable of really chaining his offense. Whereas Bowling actually does all of that really well.
The problem with Bowling is that he's just straight reckless on the feet. Three of his four losses are by TKO/KO. While Bowling isn't as technical as Nurmagomedov, I predict this fight will look similar. Bowling was a stocky WW, and that size will translate now that's going down in weight. What he lacks in technique, he'll make up for in sheer power as he comfortably wrestles Trujillo for three rounds.
X-Factor: Fingers usually have a date with eyeballs in fights involving two scrappy, energetic dudes, so expect the appendages to be buying the photoreceptors dinner before this one heats up.
Prediction: Roger Bowling by Decision.