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UFC 177: Dillashaw vs. Barao II - The Idiot's Guide to Ramsey Nijem vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira

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TUF alum Ramsey Nijem takes on undefeated newcomer Carlos Diego Ferreira in a bout that could either by good, quick, or something else this weekend in Sacramento, California.

Photo by Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

Lightweight Ramsey Nijem vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira

Not exactly a bout that will set the world on fire.

As an aside, the world's most expensive hot dog sounds pretty good: smoked cheese bratwurst, butter teriyaki grilled onions, wagyu beef, truffles, and caviar? Probably not worth the $196 it sells for, but I'd try it.

Can we please just talk fights?

Well, only because we have to.

One of the things I try to avoid at all costs when doing previews is being deliberately pessimistic about the chances of a bout being boring. I'm not here to sell a card. I'm here to explain what about these fighters makes for an interesting dynamic between the two, but without all the technical jargon that could otherwise make this article that much more insightful.

After all, UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. dos Anjos didn't look all that great on paper, but it turned out to be phenomenal in practice.

Conversely, there is UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Le.

Touche. I suspect this card is somewhere between both though. This fight is a good example of odd matchmaking. Generally, I think Joe Silva is pretty good at his work. 95% of the time, we get exactly the bouts we need to make sense of the divisional narratives. But within that five percent are matchups that seem destined to be a slog. Surely there were better opponents for both men that we didn't have to end up with a wrestler with questionable boxing technique versus a grappler with nonexistant power on the feet?

And that's kind of what we have. At 5-3 in the UFC, Ramsey Nijem has shown he's fairly UFC caliber, but he hasn't always had UFC caliber opponents. And most casual fans remember him for-

This?

Yep. The KO loss was embarrassing if just because Nijem revealed to the world in stark terms, his boxing deficiencies. He's 26, so you have to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to masking, and hiding his flaws but I didn't see some sort of marked improvement in his bout with Beneil Dariusch. That fight was like watching Nijem punch out his own hologram.

Don't do it...

What? Remind readers that physicists are working on using black hole concepts to prove that we are projections from a cosmic two dimensional surface? Even though I know nothing about physics, I consider it a rush to watch, read, or listen to something that goes completely over my head. Kind of like how my favorite Beyond Belief lecture from 2006 was Stuart Hameroff, who seemed to piss off every scientist in the room (for what felt like a really obtuse presentation even for them).

Is there a reason why Carlos Diego Ferreira is -200?

Yep. He's basically a 29 year old 155lb version of Ricardo Arona. Here he is doing what most people do in grappling tournaments when facing off against Andre Galvaogetting dummied. Still, this just goes to show you what he's capable of. His striking is incredibly raw, but his grappling is top notch. He's undefeated at 9-0 with six submission victories to his name.

Betting wise, I like this fight. Ferreira doesn't have some sort of explosive double leg. He's a meat and potatoes fighter with a cavier grappling game. And he's not particularly fast. If Carlos had more pop in his punches, I could see him landing strikes to get inside, but he doesn't. His arsenal is pretty varied. His destruction of Jorge Patino was a good example of how diverse Ferreira can be on the feet (making my Arona comparison that much more incorrect), but diversity is not the same thing as dynamism.

For all of his faults, I feel like Nijem is capable of more than what he's revealed thus far in his career. I don't think his win over Dariusch was a good example of Nijem going next level or anything, but I see plenty of ways that this could become a striking contest with Nijem landing takedowns to punctuate the exchanges.

Ramsey Nijem by Decision.