UFC 248: Under The Radar
By James Heaney
The UFC returns to Las Vegas this weekend with a double header of title bouts, both intriguing in their unique way. But further down the card is where I feel the fight that goes Under The Radar is this week.
Alex Oliveira and Max Griffin meet in a welterweight match up to kick off the PPV card.
Both fighters have a reputation for power, for enjoying a brawl and both come in desperate to pick up a much-needed win.
Oliveira, originally due to face Mickey Gall at last week’s UFC Norfolk event, is on a three fight skid- having not won since September 2018. Before that he had impressive wins over the likes of Carlos Condit, Tim Means and Will Brooks. He has knockout power, but is also impressive on the ground, which may be his advantage and key to success in this fight.
Across the cage from him is Max Griffin, an aggressive southpaw who’s last fight, also on a Joanna Jedrzejczyk card, was a loss to Alex Morono in October. Griffin is arguably the more technical striker of the two, but both fighters have shown that they are not scared to and somewhat enjoy a brawl in the Octagon.
Both fighters needing a win means both will need to stick to their game plan as much as possible. This is where I feel the fight will be won and lost- who stays composed and imposes their skillset consistently.
If Griffin can avoid the takedown in this fight I feel he can outpunch Oliveira- but the risk of stepping in close to Cowboy is that knock out power.
Oliveira will also look to keep that range using his leg kicks, setting up a knock out punch. It’s an intriguing mix of styles, in a fight that’s a potential last fight in the promotion for one of them. Throw in the possibility of this turning into a brawl, I expect this fight to kick off the PPV with some fireworks.