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UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. St. Preux - Seth Baczynski vs. Alan Jouban Preview and Prognostication

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Seth Baczynski takes on fellow Welterweight newcomer Alan Jouban for a bout that isn't high profile, but that should nonetheless promise very little poetry, but plenty of pop.

Photo by Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

Seth Baczynski vs. Alan Jouban Welterweight

When we last left our heroes...

If you had told me that a guy who was 0-2 in his IFL career (there's a blast from the past) could one day be relatively successful in the UFC, I would have looked at you like you had just resolved multiple brane string theory.

At 5-3 in the UFC, and starting out at 4-0 including a win over Matt 'The not so Immortal at UFC 139' Brown, he's become a solid gatekeeper for the WW division. With his massive frame, he's been able to bully his way to victory a number of times, and his losses are mostly nothing to be ashamed of. Thiago Alves and Mike Pierce are studs, while Brian Melancon might have had more to offer were it not for his inability to cut weight (his kidneys upon his retirement were said to be 47% functional).

His TUF stint wasn't all that impressive either. And yet here he is, garnering the respect of his peers. He's facing a complete unknown in Alan Jouban who has connections to Black House and 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu.

Jouban is anything but a prospect at 31 years of age. But he has a pretty crowd pleasing style which is likely what attracted Zuffa to him, and coming off a win over the very underrated Ricky Legere Jr. While there's nothing to indicate that he'll become more than a bit player in the UFC, the fight should promise a decent amount of fireworks.

What both me can violently do...

Jouban has an interesting style on the feet. He's not all that imposing if you judge him simply by his rhythm. He doesn't fight like a guy with good raw power even though he has it (6 wins by TKO/KO). Watching him on the feet, the power is one thing: and here it is on display against Tyson Griffin's brother. But it's his movement that stands out the most. From his southpaw stance, he has an interesting indecisive looking stance that sort of transitions between something karate-like, and something traditional. With a good left kick, and an even better straight left, Jouban is a Melancon clone for Baczynski if he fights as loose as he did against Brian.

He also stands absolutely straight up, which makes him a potential target for Seth's brute force. Seth's offense isn't flashy or eye catching. In fact, it looks downright lethargic. But he's such a large WW that he doesn't need to be accurate or fast: he just needs to land enough to wear his opponents down. He likes to do a lot of work in top control, and is more than capable on the ground so it'll be interesting to see where this one ends up.

What both men can't violently do...

With all that said, there's a reason neither guy has much of a ceiling. Seth's problem is that he's just not dynamic enough. The WW division is the one division where you don't necessarily need to be full on dynamic. Plenty a wrestle boxer has got by on a limited set of skills. Now keep in mind, I'm not saying GSP wasn't one of the greatest ever, or that Matt Hughes doesn't have a legitimate legacy. Nor is it a slight against Johny "WADA or VADA?" Hendricks. It's just that WW is a division traditionally dominated by a certain archetype of fighter.

But you still need to do one thing really well, and these guys just don't. Thiago Alves is a solid WW fighter, but he's exactly the kind of fighter prospects and contenders beat at this stage of the game. Seth's lack of speed lost him the fight, in addition to being prone to a salty performance. The Melancon loss was brutal: yes, it was unexpected for a fighter who had seemed so consistent, but Seth seemed stuck on autopilot, and Melancon's power for a guy his size became the dealbreaker.

As for Jouban, he's not active enough. Like Seth, he's very hittable and to me, the best trait a fighter can have where any inert move can leave your fate in the hands of the judges, where we know you're screwed if you urgency: the ability to instinctually detect whether you're ahead or behind on the scorecards. So many fighters lack this necessary spider sense: a problem that as Miesha Tate demonstrated...can be exacerbated by inexplicable coaching.

I see Seth getting him down, and racking him enough damage for the eventual...


Seth Baczynski by RNC, round 3.