AOPNEWS | January 4, 2016
Afghan MMA fighter Siyar Bahadurzada who fights in the welterweight division of the UFC announced today that he has started day one of his training camp to prepare for his upcoming match against American Brandon Thatch. The fight is scheduled to be held on February 21st as part of UFC Fight Night 82 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Siyar “The Great” Bahadurzada posted on his Facebook page that he was, “Sharp, hungry, and ready to kill!”.
Most MMA fighters attend an official training camp a month or two prior to their match in order to prepare for their opponent. They fine tune their striking and grappling skills and study their opponent to come up with strategies to win the fight.
Brandon “Rukus” Thatch has a record of 11 wins and 3 losses, and similar to Bahadurzada, has lost the last two of his matches. Bahadurzada is currently with 21 wins, 6 losses, and 1 draw. Both fighters are about the same age, however, Thatch is 3 inches taller at 6’2″, and has a 2 inch reach advantage against Bahadurzada. The UFC has been known to release fighters who have lost more than 2 matches in a row, so this fight is critical for Bahadurzada if he wants to stay in the UFC, which is the largest MMA promotion company and has the best fighters.
Bahadurzada’s grappling, particularly, his wrestling has shown to be his weakest skill set since joining the UFC in 2011. According to the UFC’s official site, Thatch has a 75% successful takedown rating and his favorite grappling technique is the “ground and pound”. However, interestingly enough, Thatch lost his last two fights via submission. In Bahadurzada’s last two matches, both opponents (John Howard & Dong Hyun Kim) neutralized Bahadurzada’s striking by taking him down and preventing him from getting back up. Both fighters were able to get a unanimous decision over Bahadurzada.
As of today, according to the Tapology MMA site, Bahadurzada is the underdog with 91% predicting that Thatch will be the winner of the fight. However, Afghan fans are optimistic that their hero will win his fight. Bahadurzada has been working on his grappling skills and has great knock out power. In his first fight in the UFC, he knocked out Brazilian Paulo Thiago in the first round to win the UFC’s “Knockout of the Night” bonus.