The Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson event that will take place in Chicago this weekend will feature an excellent welterweight matchup between MMA veteran Paul Daley and young prospect Tyron Woodley. This is one of those fights where the old lion tries to fight off father time and avoid having his turf taken by the young hungry lion. Let’s get to the breakdown:
Paul Daley comes into this fight with an overall record of (27-10-2) with 20 wins via knockout. Daley was last seen in action back in April in one of the best rounds of MMA action ever, suffering a first round TKO loss to former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz. Daley is a standup fighter and tells you exactly what he wants to do, and that’s to knock his opponents out. His standup skills are very good which consist of a mixture of boxing and muay thai. His bread and butter is a left hook that does maximum damage when he connects with it.
Tyron Woodley comes into this fight with an overall record of (8-0) with 5 wins via submission and 1 TKO to his credit. Woodley was last seen in action besting Tarec Saffiedine via unanimous decision back in January. Woodley was a highly decorated amateur wrestler who has transferred those skills over into MMA while picking up the submission game rather quickly.
Bet On Fighting has Woodley as the betting favorite at (-250) and Daley as the underdog at (+200).
I think Woodley is the favorite going into this fight because it’s a fight that is stylistically good for him. Daley has had problems with good wrestlers, especially good wrestlers with a ground game. That’s evident because 5 of his losses have come via submission and 3 more losses have come via decision where he was taken down and controlled. Now, Woodley has improved his striking over the past couple of years but it would not be in his best interest to stand with Daley. He needs to strike just enough to set up his takedowns and then put Daley on his back. He should be able to control Daley from there and/or pass his guard to set up some type of submission as that’s his easiest path to victory.
Daley has improved his takedown defense over the years, and if he can keep this one standing he would definitely have the edge striking. He’ll need to keep his distance and avoid the clinch game which would probably allow Woodley to take him down. He’ll also need to concentrate primarily on throwing his hands more so than kicks as they would make him susceptible to takedowns as well. Daley’s toolbox will be fairly limited in this matchup, but he has a huge edge in experience over Woodley so it’ll be interesting to see if he can use that to his advantage if this fight goes to the final round.
I expect Woodley to win this fight via decision, but if Daley is able to connect with that left hook it could be an early night for the up and comer.