It’s always odd when you get a striker vs. grappler matchup in the UFC and the American loves to throw and the Brit loves to grapple. Welcome to the UFC heavyweight division, where mediocre strikers can take on mediocre grapplers and it’s not quite embarrassing in (but nearly is).
Fight Breakdown – Mitrione likes to throw and keep a fight standing. De Fries has a knack for submissions and being knocked out by guys with big hands. And look for both to try and do just that.
Mitrione likes to throw hands and has had no problems standing with the guys in the division with the biggest hands; he lasted three rounds with Cheick Kongo and found some success against Roy Nelson in that department as well. Look for him to keep it standing; eventually De Fries will leave an opening and if Mitrione can capitalize he can get the spectacular knockout. Mitrione has big time power on occasion and he needs to pull the trigger; he won’t win a grappling match with De Fries.
De Fries needs to get the fight to the ground and work his magic there. He’s a solid striker but he’s been knocked out by guys with big power as well. He tends to be a finisher when it gets to the ground and Mitrione’s ground game is fairly untested. De Fries needs to test it.
Why It matters – Both guys are one time solid prospects who have fallen from grace for a bit. A win here keeps them relevant and potentially still employed.
Prediction – Mitrione