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UFC 179: Aldo vs. Mendes 2 - Idiot's Guide and Preview to Fabio Maldonado vs. Hans Stringer

Here are the three things you should know about Fabio Maldonado's tussle with experienced European prospect, Hans Stringer for UFC 179.

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Light Heavyweight Fábio Maldonado vs. Hans Stringer

Fabio Maldonado is 21-7 overall, 4-4 in the UFC with only one TKO finish inside the octagon. Stringer is 1-0 in the UFC, and only gone to a victory decision 5 times in his entire career. Odds in this fight are even.

3 Things You Should Know

1. Hans Stringer is more than just a computer generated name for a European villain requesting money in exchange for hostages...

Along with sounding like an automobile whose production was halted after 50 copies during the roaring 20's, Hans Stringer is one of the most experienced 27 year olds you'll find in MMA, if not the most.

With a gaudy 22-5-3 record (only 5 wins by decision), he's been carving out success for himself largely in the Netherlands. One of the issues that Zane Simon pointed out, is that LHW is in dire need of some new blood. In other words...

2. But maybe not that much more...

He wasn't all that impressive in his last two outings. Maldonado isn't good enough to earn a tune up fight, but this is as close to an approximation of one as he will get. If you sift through UFC.com's LHW division, you find a short list of fighters signed to UFC contracts, and some of them have either retired (Forrest Griffin, Chuck Liddell), or are quite possibly there via computer glitch (Daniel Spohn).

Stringer isn't a bad fighter, so much as he is an unspectacular one. He throws his punches with conviction, but he's not the kind of guy interested in having a kickboxing match. He's in the mold of most wrestle boxers. Which is fine for Maldonado, who is just as blue collar, if not more so (hence why the odds are even in this one).

3. You'll be provoked into taking a bathroom break for this bout, only to find someone violently sleeping on the octagon floor when you get out.

However, this bout works because they're evenly matched. It's easy to forget that Maldonado is reasonably talented for all of his flaws. Yes, Stipe Miocic predictably brained him, but that has hardly an indictment of his abilities: Miocic would predictably destroy most LHW's, and probably pretty easily too.

Maldonado's strengths are with his solid boxing chops. He takes a lot of flack for having a professional boxing record, and showing no signs of having said history, but he works hard to simulate the good habits of your typical boxer: exercise a jab, don't be predictable, and mix it all up to the body and the head. In addition, he's tough as nails. To a fault, as his bout with Glover Teixeira famously illustrated.

It's difficult to predict this fight. To me the big x-factor here is Maldonado's durability, for better or for worse. I know this is a point that doesn't need much repeating, but durability is a fickle trait. For young fighters it's a constant resource; a well that never runs dry. For older fighters, it can feel like a crutch, fragile upon contact. Fabio has been resilient throughout his career, but resilience won't be the resource he can rely on if he decides he'll take a few just go give one. Stringer may not be piercingly fast, but he possesses a modest amount of raw power, and has 9 wins by TKO. Most of those have come against inferior opposition, but Fabio would be wise to make it a more technical bout on the feet.

Without being too sentimental and gloomy, it's an unfortunate circle for Fabio. He has made his name being a blood and guts fighter, and thus continues getting fights because of what he used to be. But that's not who he can remain, which hopefully Maldonado understands. I expect this bout to be a painful reminder of this fact.

Prediction

Hans Stringer by rooftop gunfire (TKO, round 3).