UFC Vegas 66 goes down this weekend at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. In the main event, middleweight contenders Jared Cannonier and Sean Strickland take each other head on.
Both fighters are coming off losses in their most recent fights. Cannonier is coming off a decision loss to former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in their title fight at UFC 276, where Strickland was knocked out in the first round by reigning champion Alex Pereira.
UFC Vegas 66: Analysis And Prediction
Cannonier is a powerful striker with dynamite in his hands. He likes to set up his combinations through crushing leg kicks, which will come in handy against a flat footed brawler like Strickland, who is a high volume striker with good technical boxing ability. He isn’t as powerful as his foe however. Strickland can be inconsistent with his head movement as well, and while he’s extremely tough, he can’t afford to give Cannonier many opportunities to land clean. Strickland’s wrestling will come in handy in this fight, but taking ‘The Killa Gorilla’ down will be a tough ask.
Statistically, Strickland has the edge due to his higher strike volume. He lands more than five significant strikes per minute on average, whereas Cannonier lands a little over three and a half. Cannonier has a slightly better striking defence as he absorbs three and a half significant strikes per minute on average, whereas Strickland absorbs four. Strickland has better grappling statistics as well. He averages one takedown per 15 minutes with 61% accuracy. If he wants to win this fight, he will have to pressure Cannonier on the feet and mix it up by taking him down early. A stand up fight will favour Cannonier.
It is an exciting matchup between two top middleweights, but expect Cannonier to catch Strickland off guard.
Prediction: Jared Cannonier by stoppage
Jared Cannonier (-105)
Sean Strickland (-115)
Who do you think will win the middleweight main event between Jared Cannonier and Sean Strickland at UFC Vegas 66?