It is International Fight Week at the UFC. This means we have three events, a fan expo and the amateur world championships all happening in Vegas over the next few days.
The first event is UFC Fight Night 90 which takes place this Thursday and will feature a lightweight championship fight between Rafael dos Anjos vs. Eddie Alvarez.
Ireland's Joseph Duffy (14-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) will kick off the main card against Mitch Clarke (11-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC). Both men head into this fight having each lost their last fight. Duffy dropped a unanimous decision against Dustin Poirier at UFC 195 while Clarke lost a decision to Michael Chiesa over a year ago.
- Duffy's only stoppage loss was via submission, Clarke has seven submission wins on his record.
- Duffy has over a 90% finish rate with twelve coming in the first round including two first round finishes in the UFC.
- Clarke has been a member of the UFC roster since 2011 but has only fought once a year since joining.
- Clarke's biggest win was a submission win over Al Iaquinta at UFC 173 in May, 2014.
- Both Duffy and Clarke have earned one 'Performance of the Night' bonus.
- Between them they have 21 finishes from 25 wins.
Looking at the fight stats one thing is obvious, both men love to finish fights. This is a recipe for an exciting fight.
Duffy has the clear advantage on the feet with his striking so expect Clarke to want to clinch and bring this fight to the ground. Both men have some very sneaky submissions in their arsenal but if push came to shove I would give Clarke the slight advantage there. In his fight against Al Iaquinta Clarke was being dominated before sneaking in a D'Arce choke from the bottom to get the win.
Overall I believe Duffy is more well-rounded. His striking is crisp and on point and his submission game is dangerous, both evident by his two first round wins the the UFC.
Another thing that is in Duffy's favour is how active he has been. He made his UFC debut one month prior to Clarke's last fight and has competed three times in total. In fact Duffy went on his three year MMA hiatus back in 2011 two months before Clarke made his UFC debut. In the time since Clarke has competed just five times while Duffy has already competed five times since returning in 2014.
I can see Duffy trying to keep this on the feet using his knowledge of the ground game to help him keep it there. Here he could pick Clarke apart and possibly get the TKO/KO finish.
If this does go to the ground we know Clarke is dangerous from anywhere. This is not to say Duffy couldn't get a submission of his own or dominate position because he is more than capable himself on the ground.
Overall I think Duffy has too many ways to win and has activeness in his favour. The only way I can see Clarke getting the win is with a sneaky submission but his odds aren't good.