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UFC on FUEL 2: Brad Pickett and Damacio Page clash in a bantamweight matchup

Brad Pickett(left) will face Damacio Page at UFC on FUEL 2

The UFC on FUEL 2 event that’s set for Stockholm, Sweden, will get off to a fast start when bantamweights Brad Pickett and Damacio Page set foot inside the octagon to kick off the main card. We have two fighters that can end the fight via TKO/KO or via submission and both are looking to get back in the winner’s column after suffering defeats in their last outing.

Brad Pickett (20-6) is coming off a submission loss to bantamweight contender Renan Barao in his promotional debut at UFC 138 last November. It was an exciting fight as both were throwing big strikes, but Barao was able to stun Pickett with a punch before locking in the fight ending rear naked choke near the end of the first round. It was the first time Pickett had been submitted since 2007. Pickett’s nickname is “One Punch”, but has more wins via submission than via knockout. He favors the armbar and guillotine choke with the latter being a big problem for Page in the past.

Damacio Page (12-6) is coming off back to back losses via guillotine choke against former champion Brian Bowles and contender Demetrious Johnson. In fact, it was the second time that Bowles has submitted Page via guillotine choke and the third time Page has been submitted with the move since 2008. Page is a scrappy fighter that either finishes his opponents or gets finished instead of allowing fights to go to the judges as Page has only gone the distance twice in 18 career fights.

As I mentioned, this should be an entertaininig fight that probably will not make it to the judges as both fighters like to finish their opponents. Page hasn’t fought in over a year so I’m wondering what his cardio and timing will be like in this fight. Pickett hasn’t fought in six months so cage rust could be a factor for him as well. Pickett has more experience and is probably has a few more tools at his disposal when it comes to ending fights. He does have a number of submission wins and five out of Page’s six career losses are via submission. The two fighter do have one common opponent in former number one contender Scott Jorgensen. Page bested Jorgensen via decision in 2008 with Jorgensen defeating Pickett via decision in 2010. It’s probably fair to note that Jorgensen has improved tremendously since 2008, so I’m not sure if we can pull anything from those two fights or not.

Page is going to have to make this an ugly fight by applying constant pressure, and transitioning from striking to takedowns to score points. He must be aware of Pickett’s guillotine choke when going for takedowns as he has won with that move three times. This is where the long layoff could be detrimental to Page as I’m not sure he’ll be able to keep the required pace to implement this game plan.

Pickett needs to keep the fight on the feet to score points while defending takedown attempts from Page. Pickett will have a couple of inches  in reach on Page, so he should use that to his advantage and score as Page tries to close the distance. If Pickett is taken down he needs to get right back up to his feet or go for the guillotine choke that Page has been susceptible to in the past. He shouldn’t play the guard game here as Page is capable of grinding out a decision with top control.

I like Pickett via submission in this one.

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