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    Preview: UFC on ESPN 32 Prelims




    The
    Ultimate Fighting Championship
    ’s first card of 2022 offers a
    solid slate of prelims on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. In
    the featured slot, recent
    Dana White’s Contender Series
    standout Joseph
    Holmes
    will make his UFC debut when he takes on Jamie
    Pickett
    in a middleweight battle with some action potential.

    UFC on ESPN 32
    also carries some name value, with the likes of
    Court
    McGee
    and Brian
    Kelleher
    looking to hold serve against relatively fresh-faced
    opponents. Meanwhile, Charles
    Rosa
    tackles T.J. Brown in
    another thrown-together pairing to round out the four-fight slate.
    Excitement seems to be the name of the game for the UFC’s first
    handful of fights in the New Year.

    Now to the preview for the UFC on ESPN 32 “Kattar vs. Chikadze”
    prelims:

    Middleweights

    NR | Joseph
    Holmes
    (7-1, 0-0 UFC) vs. NR | Jamie
    Pickett
    (12-6, 1-2 UFC)

    ODDS: Holmes (-145), Pickett (+125)

    It was nice to see Pickett pick up his first UFC win in October,
    but he is still one of the more frustrating fighters on the roster
    in terms of talent versus results. It took Pickett three attempts
    on Dana White’s Contender Series to earn a UFC contract, and his
    contract-clinching win over Jhonoven
    Pati
    basically told the story for “The Nightwolf.” When he
    pulls the trigger, good things happen for Pickett—such as his
    second-round knockout of Pati—but he is much too often undone by
    his hesitancy to spring into action. Even his October win over
    Laureano
    Staropoli
    was a slow-paced grind in which Pickett leaned on his
    strength and athleticism, but hopefully that has given Pickett
    enough momentum and confidence to look in better form here against
    a UFC newcomer. A surprising snub after a second-round win on the
    Contender Series in October, “Ugly Man” quickly finds his way onto
    the UFC roster after one more regional victory and looks like a
    prospect to watch. Holmes uses his long frame to keep opponents at
    range before closing distance to implement a surprisingly solid
    grappling game that has gotten him most of his wins. There is still
    a lot to smooth out—transitioning from one phase to the other often
    sees Holmes getting hit, and it is not a lock that he can overpower
    higher-level opponents—but in terms of tools and the improvements
    he has shown to date, he figures to have a bright future. Pickett
    has the ability to take advantage of the holes in Holmes’ game, as
    he has knockout power when he chooses to throw and has the type of
    physicality that could stall him out in his takedown attempts.
    However, he is unreliable to the point that Holmes being able to
    take over the fight is the much safer bet. The pick is Holmes via
    second-round submission.

    Continue Reading »
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