This fundamental occasion this Saturday (June 13, 2020) could also be, effectively, dangerous, however there’s a lot to love in the remainder of the UFC on ESPN 10 lineup. On this version of “New Blood,” the sequence the place I’m consistently punished for making an attempt to get analysis finished forward of time, we have a look at a “Contender Series” alum, two regional standouts, and a kickboxing veteran from Bellator MMA.
*Gustavo Lopez was a brilliant late substitute with contractual points and, because of this, was not included on this column. He’ll battle Merab Dvalishvili tomorrow night time (details).
Weight Class: Flyweight
Document: 8-1 (three KO, three SUB)
Notable Victories: Marilia Santos
A profitable run on the Eurasian circuit earned Kazakhstan’s Agapova a shot on “Contender Series,” the place she dropped a call to Invicta veteran Tracy Cortez in July 2019. Undaunted, she joined Invicta herself, scoring two first-round finishes within the span of a month. She was set to make a 3rd look underneath their banner in February earlier than pulling out due to damage.
A rangy, athletic southpaw with a 70-inch attain, Agapova is all about marching ahead and throwing warmth. Her left hand and left spherical kick function her best bludgeoning implements, notably the left kick to the physique, and she or he has no less than considerably of a grasp of mixture placing. She boasts fairly the killer intuition as effectively, and although she’s not a lot for passing whereas on prime, she’s able to performing some severe harm from guard.
Regardless of practically 5 years within the cage, although, she stays a really unfinished product. Except for a common lack of polish in her boxing, her aggression typically results in her stepping proper into the pocket and compromising her attain benefit, a behavior not helped by her tendency to maintain her chin up and lose composure in exchanges. She additionally tends to kick from punching vary, which leaves her already weak takedown protection much more porous.
That defensive wrestling seems to be like the largest problem. Cortez took her down repeatedly, and whereas Agapova confirmed an admirable reluctance to remain caught on her again, she seemingly lacked the approach to associate with it. An lack of ability to maintain the battle standing and a placing model that naturally exposes her to reactive photographs make for a foul mixture.
To Agapova’s credit score, she’s definitely bettering shortly. She seems to be to be cleansing up her placing approach and managed to defend towards Marilia Santos’ takedown makes an attempt, forcing the latter to tug guard and finally bludgeoning her into submission. I’d nonetheless have most popular one or two extra years of growth in Invicta, however she’s not going to be in too far over her head within the Octagon.
Opponent: Agapova was initially slated to face grappling specialist Melissa Gatto, whose myriad shortcomings contrasted apparently with Agapova’s. As an alternative, she’ll face Hannah Cifers, whose superior boxing is considerably undercut by an eight-inch attain drawback. Agapova ought to have the ability to wilt her with measurement and energy.
Tape: Her “Contender Series” and Invicta appearances are on Struggle Cross.
Christian “The Beast” Aguilera
Weight Class: Welterweight
Document: 13-6 (9 KO, 1 SUB)
Notable Victories: Ricardo Seixas
Practically seven years as knowledgeable have seen Aguilera minimize his tooth in promotions like BAMMA, CFFC, King of the Cage and LFA. He’s gained two straight and 5 of his final seven, scoring (technical) knockout finishes in 4 of these efforts.
Unsurprisingly, Aguilera is a power-puncher by commerce. Working behind a stiff, busy jab, he’s equally efficient on the assault and on the counter, particularly along with his verify hook. He’s quick, crisp, and intensely harmful, although he admittedly doesn’t verify low kicks. Plus, he has a very good sense of vary…