The UFC 148 main card will feature a bantamweight bout between MMA veteran Ivan Menjivar and rising up and comer Mike Easton. This should be a good fight as both guys generally put on exciting fights. Let’s see how this one breaks down.
Ivan Menjivar (20-8) comes into this bout off a submission win over John Albert earlier this year. Menjivar has won three consecutive fights and only has one loss since moving down to the bantamweight division. Menjivar has won nine fights via submission and nine fights via TKO/KO. He’s been fighting since 2001 and fought Georges St. Pierre in his fifth professional fight as a welterweight. Menjivar retired from MMA in 2006 only to come back and win a fight in 2010 before signing with the WEC.
Mike Easton (12-1) comes into this fight off a majority decision win against Jared Papazian in January. Easton has won seven consecutive fights, finishing four of those opponents either via TKO or submission. Easton is (2-0) under the UFC banner. He has won four wins via TKO/KO and two wins via submission. Easton has crisp striking with very good leg kicks, and often puts combinations together against his opponents while having outstanding takedown defense.
Easton will have a huge reach advantage against Menjivar, and that my friends will more than likely be the difference in this fight. Easton will be the larger fighter, but Menjivar has been fighting larger fighters his entire career and still been pretty effective. This fight will play out on the feet unless Easton decides to take Menjivar down to the ground. According to Fightmetric, Easton is the more accurate striker and has a slight edge in defense.
I expect both fighters to stand and trade in the pocket with Easton firing off combinations with his hands and ending with leg kicks. Amazingly, the only fighter to put Menjivar away via TKO/KO is Georges St. Pierre all the way back in 2002. Menjivar has only been submitted once in his career which also occurred in 2002. Almost all of Menjivar’s losses have come against top competition or very solid fighters. This will not be an easy fight for Easton by any means as he had problems with the scrappy Papazian in his last bout.
I like Easton to win a hard fought unanimous decision here as his pace and striking should be enough to get by the MMA veteran.