One of the most memorable parts of this past UFC event (UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Clark) was Miguel Baeza’s (10-0) finish of Takashi Sato (16-4). The undefeated professional mixed martial artist and BJJ black belt have made quite an impression in his last two fights with his left hook KO of MMA legend Matt Brown and arm triangle submission finish of Takashi Sato. Baeza is only ten fights into his professional mixed martial arts career, but early returns appear to be impressive.
While Baeza finished the fight with a submission, he also showed an effective striking arsenal. It’s easy to look at a fighter like Baeza and gawk at the power to such an extent that you miss the finer points of their game. One of the most impressive aspects of Baeza’s performance was his ability to strike effectively in all ranges. He was impressive in the mid-range engagements landing a strong right hand that would demand the respect of his opponent towards the end of the first, as well as close range engagements.
The undefeated professional showed his opponent that he’s a danger in close range when he engaged the plum clinch In the last minutes of the first round to land a right knee to the body and a left knee to the head that would stun Sato. Baeza showed his proficiency at a kicking distance as well with a heavy right round kick he landed to the body and arms of Sato. The grappling exchange that would eventually lead to the end of this fight. It would begin when Sato feints a shot by dropping his level and Baeza snatches up a single leg with the head inside, drives Sato to the cage, and separates from the cage to lift Sato and finish the takedown. Sato turns towards the cage in an attempt to build a base and stand but gets stuck in the turtle. Baeza places in his left hook and begins to fire right-hand punches and threaten the choke leading Sato to turn and he ends up getting flattened out on his stomach. Baeza throws a right elbow to the side of the head of Sato leading him to turtle and once again get flattened out on his stomach.
In a final attempt to alleviate the pressure and escape Sato turns to his right hip and Baeza used this movement to trap Sato’s left arm and head together with his left arm. Baeza finishes locking the arm triangle strangle in his opponent’s quarter guard and then passes almost entirely to the side to finish and flatten out his hips. Baeza does not go all the way off to the side though, instead opting to catch Sato’s left thigh with his left foot to stop him from turning out, a wonderful finishing detail!
Miguel Baeza was one of the most interesting pieces of a UFC event that lost its main fight at the last minute. Baeza showed nasty grappling and beautiful details in his finish of Takashi Sato and was almost as impressive with his striking. The twenty-eight-year-old BJJ black belt showed that he could strike from all distances and has dangerous power. More importantly, though, he just now showed his impressive submission skills in his tenth professional fight. So In conclusion Miguel Baeza is an exciting welterweight prospect to watch out for with power from both sides, adequate striking skills from all ranges, power, and impressive submission skills.
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