TUF Brazil 3 Finale: Stipe Miocic vs. Fabio Maldonado preview and prognostication

Photo by Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

Stipe Miocic continues his HW ascent with an inexplicable fight against LHW-turned-HW, Fabio Maldonado. is it possible to even entertain the idea of Maldonado pulling off a victory?

Stipe Miocic vs. Fabio Maldonado Heavyweight

Why is Fabio Maldonado fighting at Heavyweight again?

Junior dos Santos got injured.

And there wasn't an actual Heavyweight that could replace him?

Like who?

Isn't someone who hasn't been boxed into a vegetable or lost to Kyle Kinsgbury at least a start?

You would think. 

What reader had the best reaction upon the news of the replacement?

The poster who put up this gif

So it really this bad? Like +450 bad?

My job here is to preview fights. Yes, I try to analyze techniques, but I also like the psychoanalysis part; talking about a fighter's current narrative, where their head is potentially at, and what the future bodes for them. In the process you have to give each fighter the benefit of the doubt. After all, it's the "fight game", and by that I don't mean a place where guys can say and do whatever dumb nonsensical stuff they want the way Dana implies...but that 'anything can happen' to torture a cliche. 

And yet why do I say here? Fabio was a small LHW to begin with. And he couldn't even beat names like Pokrajac. When he graduated to names like Teixeira, observers actively feared for his life. 

Hell I did.

This is the fight game. He's a consenting adult. On a three fight winning streak. I don't see the moral conundrum Mr. PC Officer.

The concern is that prizefighting is dangerous, and for as much as we laud what these men do in the cage, it's just as critical to be a voice of skepticism and restraint. 

As Alan Moore once intoned through his Hollis Mason character, "the art of being a hero is knowing when you don't need to be one anymore." 

Ok but for all your sentimentality, and bleeding heart, none of this will change this fight happening, so let's talk about it. Besides, Zack Snyder is awful, and like me, didn't read Watchmen.

Fair enough. 

Miocic is the guy getting undercut by this fight. A win does absolutely zero for his HW credibility. A fight that isn't some sort of brutal beatdown or finish is actually considered a failure. Especially when you consider that Maldonado is quoted as saying, "I'm going for a suicide"

The tried and true suicide plan. Who does Fabio think he is? Greedo?

And he's about to get Solo'ed. I was never that high on Miocic. Despite his size, he seemed too lumbering and lethargic. Taking Beltran to a decision, and getting finished by Stefan Struve only seemed to validate those impressions.

Then he fought Roy Nelson and looked like a completely different fighter, chaining combinations and displaying just enough movement to be an actual threat in the division.

If Fabio has a chance anywhere, it's on the feet. I'll do my best to play devil's advocate, so here we go. Fabio is a pretty good boxer as far as wild, and reckless MMA boxing goes. He won't have much of a speed advantage, but he's not gonna be dealing with the same speed that he had to deal with against Glover. A striking accuracy of 60% is a good number. So good it's the best in the LHW division. Ever.

More importantly he digs to the body. I think this is critical because Miocic does not have a good gas tank. It's improved, but it's not stellar, and he'll need it to be if Fabio is taking his best Sunday punch and still ticking going into the later rounds.

That's the best I got, really. Fabio needs to land some sort of hail mary body shot. Of course, Fabio also eats shots at a rate double the average of your typical UFC fighter. Miocic may not be quite the combination puncher that Glover is, but he's bigger and has a heavy shot regardless. if he wants the takedown, he'll get it. For once I'm honestly hoping that this fight just simply ends quickly. I don't care how. Either by submission, KO, DQ, or a resurrection of the Chelyabinsk meteor, just let it end.

Please. If the MMA gods are just, they'll do us the favor of a quick Maldonado defeat (or some sort of insane Serra/GSP moment).

Stipe Miocic by TKO, round 2.

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