A classic striker vs grappler matchup. Edson Barboza vs Bryce Mitchell is a fight nobody expected, but it has an interesting aura nonetheless. These two couldn’t be any different, with Barboza’s legendary striking abilities versus Mitchell’s seemingly untouchable grappling prowess. How could this fight play out?
Edson Barboza vs Bryce Mitchell Prediction
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Bryce Mitchell is returning from a long layoff, last defeating André Fili in October 2020. Mitchell is fairly rudimentary on the feet, but has some of the best BJJ the UFC has seen in a while. He rides the high of his Twister finish of Matt Sayles back in 2019, and remains undefeated. Barboza without a doubt is Mitchell’s toughest test to date, does he have what it takes to give Mitchell his first pro defeat?
It’s a common misconception that Barboza is a one dimensional fighter. He’s a striker, but he has extremely underrated takedown defense sitting at 78% takedowns defended (in the UFC). Now consider that he’s not a grappler, and that he’s maintained this stat against killers like Tony Ferguson, Kevin Lee, and Khabib.
The question becomes: does Bryce Mitchell have the level of skill needed to beat Barboza’s elite takedown defense? And the answer in my opinion, is that no he doesn’t. First of all, Bryce Mitchell will have nothing for Barboza on the feet, to the point where he will actively avoid trading on the feet. This leads to Mitchell forcing takedowns, which will either be defended or punished. Don’t forget Barboza’s flying knee finish of Dariush who was shooting for a takedown.
When the grappling threat of Mitchell is denied, we’ll see Barboza go to work on the feet, piecing Mitchell up. This is why I have Barboza by either KO/TKO or UD.
Edson Barboza vs Bryce Mitchell Betting
Barboza is the sizeable underdog in this matchup, but I think people are forgetting who he is. At 7/5 to win out right, the odds are very tempting. Barboza by KO/TKO/DQ is also 13/4, and to win in Rd1 is 13/2, all odds that should be very tempting.
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