Saturday, May 23, 2009

UFC 98 Preview and Predictions

Originally posted on

Xavier Foupa-Pokam vs. Drew McFedries

This matchup should provide us with a enjoyable exchange on the feet, at least until one of the fighters no longer believes he is able to trade in the pocket.

The American audience was introduced to Xavier Foupa-Pokam (aka Professor X) last month in a decision loss to Denis Kang. Having his first experience in the octagon out of the way, he’ll attempt to erase the memory with a convincing win Saturday night.

Foupa-Pokam may have some of the best pure kickboxing skills in the UFC’s middleweight division. He throws both punches and kicks with tremendous speed and precision.

McFedries also prefers to keep the fight standing. He is as one-dimensional as fighters get in the UFC. His punching power is devastating. His ground game, not so much.

If the fight does go to the ground, Professor X will have a decided advantage. But then again, so would a turtle. McFedries absolutely must keep this fight standing to have a chance. He needs to close the distance, and force Foupa-Pokam to trade in the pocket.

Professor X will try to keep McFedries at the end of his punches while standing. If he gets in trouble on the feet, taking the fight to the mat should provide the edge he needs to pull off the win.

My prediction:
Foupa-Pokam’s speed advantage should be the difference here. His ability to strike quickly and avoid serious danger will allow him to frustrate McFedries and force him into a mistake.

Xavier Foupa-Pokam by 1st round (T)KO.

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