This Saturday Alistair Overeem will be taking on Alexander Volkov on UFC Vegas 18, ESPN plus from the Apex center in Las Vegas. Before those two titans clash, we will see former Cage Warriors champion and perennial fan favorite “Meatball” Molly McCann (10-3-0) face off against former jujitsu national champion from Brazil Lara Procopio (6-1-0) in our featured bout at Flyweight. Join me as we break down the fighters and preview the UFC Vegas 18 fight.
“Meatball” Molly McCann
Molly McCann is looking to get back on track after a tough decision loss to Taila Santos in her last fight. Prior to that, she was riding a three-fight win streak. Molly is most comfortable and most dangerous on the feet. She has crisp clean combos when she is throwing punches in bunches and is great at slipping off the centerline while in the pocket.
Her aggressive style and granite chin can cause problems for even the most experienced of fighters. While she has an adequate ground game, it can sometimes leave much to be desired in the scramble, as can her takedown defense against high-level grapplers. That being said, her ground game seems to be rapidly improving from fight to fight during her UFC tenure.
Lara Fritzen Procopio
This will be the UFC newcomers’ second fight in the Octagon. She is trying to get things back on track as well after a close split decision loss to Karol Rosa in her debut with the organization. Lara Procopio is a Brazillian jujitsu black belt who likes using forward pressure, aggression, and a wild striking style to try to set up clinches and grappling situations.
Although her stand up abilities are not necessarily refined, she seems to have no issues standing in the pocket and trading shots and has the gas tank to go a full three rounds. Lara Procopio’s biggest weakness is that she tends to eat punches while trying to get inside to clinch, due to not moving off centerline as she comes in.
I can see this being a fairly close back and forth battle, with both fighters trying to expose the others weakness. If McCann wants to win this she will need to keep the fight standing as much as possible, and avoid those clinches and takedown attempts. She will have to stay off the cage and keep it in the center of the Octagon, She can use angles and feints to draw out and attack the weaknesses of Procopio. On the other side Procopio needs to try to minimize the damage she takes as she tries to get into the clinch, and also follow through on her takedown attempts. She needs to get it to the ground early and make it ugly, tire out McCann and go for the submission.
UFC Vegas 18 McCann Vs Procopio Verdict
I personally see Molly McCann pulling out the victory by a decision on this one. I feel her experience and striking ability will be too much for Lara Procopio to be able to adjust to.
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