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7 min read

Sizing Up Ian “The Hurricane” Heinisch

Ian “The Hurricane” Heinisch has had a short but fruitful career thus far in the UFC with two wins and two defeats. He began his UFC career in 2018 after fighting on Dana White’s Contender Series 15. He quickly dispatched Justin Sumter via some savage elbow strikes earning his UFC contract. In that fight, Heinisch got taken down early but showed some excellent defense in blocking multiple submission attempts by Sumter. He eventually managed to wrestle his way to top position via a beautiful counter and got to work with his vicious ground and pound, finishing the fight in the first round.

MMA Record: 13-3 Division: Middleweight Age: 31
Height: 71 inches Weight: 185 pounds Reach: 72 inches

UFC Career

How Heinisch Got His Start

The Victories

Ian Heinisch next fought against Cezar Ferreira at UFC Fight Night: Magny vs Ponzinibbio. Earning a spot on the main card after his impressive first win, Heinisch earned his first UFC victory via unanimous decision. He did this despite taking the fight on short notice. The fight certainly wasn’t pretty by any means, but it showcased all of his skills well. Heinisch was taken down multiple times but his superb defense kept him out of trouble. On his feet, Heinisch was able to show off his aggression and striking, dropping Ferreira in the second round. Ultimately the judges felt he did enough to earn the win.

In his next UFC fight Heinisch earned another unanimous decision victory, this time over Antônio Carlos Junior at UFC Fight Night: dos Anjos vs Lee. This fight started poorly for Heinisch, as Junior dominated him for a majority of the first round. However, he found his stride in the other two rounds, smothering Junior with vicious ground and pound and solid exchanges standing up. In the end, the judges rewarded Heinisch’s efforts with a decision victory.

The Defeats

Winner of five fights in a row, including two in the UFC, Heinisch had finally earned a pay-per-view fight against a top 10 opponent in Derek Brunson at UFC 241. Unfortunately things did not work out for Heinisch in this fight. He lost for the first time since joining the UFC due to a unanimous decision. Heinisch certainly performed admirably. He started off very strong, winning the first round due to his aggression and the damage he was able to inflict standing up. However, Brunson was able to shake off a bad first round to take over the fight and secure the victory. Heinisch showed a lot of heart, staying in the fight until the end against an opponent known for finishing fights.

In his most recent UFC fight, Heinisch suffered another unanimous decision defeat, this time to Omari Akhmedov at UFC 245. This fight was packed full of action, with both fighters landing some beautiful strikes throughout. Akhmedov won the first two rounds after controlling much of the fight with his savage leg kicks and solid striking combinations. However, Heinisch was able to find his footing enough to win the final round and finish on a high note. Despite being defeated, Heinisch showed a lot of potential in this fight.

Where Did Heinisch Fight Before the UFC?

Before fighting in the UFC, Heinisch was the interim middleweight champion for the Legacy Fighting Alliance, with a 3-1 record for the promotion. His only loss was at the hands of fellow UFC fighter Markus Perez, by way of submission. Before the LFA, Heinisch made a name for himself in the Sparta Combat League, a fight promotion based in Colorado. He was their middleweight champion for nearly a year before moving on to the LFA. Prior to the fight that earned him his UFC contract, Heinisch owned a 10-1 professional record.

Fighting Style and Habits

Ian Heinisch loves to be the aggressor in his fights, which will sometimes lead to him getting taken down. He possesses excellent submission defense and loves to strike. When he finds himself on the bottom, Heinisch will often use submission attempts as a very successful defensive tactic. He looks to keep the fight upright but he can certainly handle himself on the ground. If he gets on top of his opponent, he can deliver some massive damage. Heinisch loves to finish fights and looks for the finish any chance he can get. Despite his love for finishing fights, he doesn’t let it put him in danger of getting knocked out. Heinisch is a very intelligent fighter that displays a ton of potential in the middleweight division.

What Is up Next for Ian Heinisch?

Despite coming off of two straight defeats, Heinisch recently signed a deal with the UFC for four fights. Up next for Ian Heinisch will be his third straight pay-per-view appearance, a fight at UFC 250. He will be facing Gerald Meerschaert (30-12-0) at the event, which will be taking place on June 6, though the location is still yet to be determined. It is unclear as of yet if this fight will take place on the preliminary card or the main card. This will be a very interesting matchup stylistically. Heinisch has shown excellent submission defense in his career thus far, only losing by submission once. Meerschaert loves to grapple and get fights onto the ground to put his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to use.

Ian Heinisch vs Gerald Meerschaert Tale of the Tape

Heinisch’s submission defense will certainly be put to the test against Meerschaert, as Meerschaert owns 22 career victories by way of submission. Heinisch’s grappling defense is superb and he has a fantastic chin, which should serve him well in this fight. If he were to earn a victory here, he has a really good shot at getting his UFC career back on the right track. Meerschaert will not be an easy opponent but Heinisch is hungry and should be a good bet heading into UFC 250.

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