Everyone would love a 10-second knockout or a quick submission, but that’s not often how it happens, especially not at the championship level. Instead, it’s usually the contestant who’s come up with the best game plan and does the best job of executing things inside the Octagon who walks away with the raised hand and the gold around the cut.
So how does one or the other handle it on Saturday night?
Nicksick: For me, Izzy really needs to use her kicks because it will help nullify some of Pereira’s power.
Depending on the weapon he feels, that will be his greatest attribute – if it’s his left hook, then it’s Izzy who lands the right kick to slow that hook down. If it’s the straight right, then Izzy needs to use the left headbutt. This will slow him down and keep him honest in many ways.
Using that length with teeps, calf kicks, low kicks – I don’t think we’ll see Pereira come looking to use any grappling hook, but I think the full skill set of ‘Izzy should be at his disposal, including the kicking game. It should be a layer of insulation between him and Pereira’s hands.
Marshal: I still think Izzy does it on her feet. I think he does it on the feet and the difference between this fight and their other two is just the level of output you need to have with kickboxing. Coming out in MMA is very different, and I think that changes the dynamic of the fight.
Because Pereira will think, “Is he going to try to knock me down? you can’t just hit, and when you can’t just hit, that’s a game changer.
Nicksick: The main thing he’s really going to have to do is find some clever ways to cut the cage and try to get Izzy into the flat part of the backboard and guide him into the two corner posts eliminating some of the movement backwards at 45 degrees from Izzy. or his straight back. He only gives him perpendicular movements to the right or to the left.
When you allow him to go on 45-degree angles, that’s where his best offense is – he’s got that sniper ability on half-time draws – so for Pereira, I think he really needs to get this guy back at the barrier and eliminate the backwards and 45 degree moves. If you cut the door on either side and say, “Hey, here’s your exit,” you know which way he’s going to go, and it’s either go that way or he has to shoot.
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So either you freak him out from there, or you close the door, show him the exit, and that’s when you can set up some of these power shots and try to take his head off . I think it’s going to be very, very important for Pereira to eliminate some of the movement by pushing him back to the barrier.
Marshal: He’ll try to knock her out, that’s for sure. The more it looks like Muay Thai, the more it favors Pereira. The more it looks like MMA, the more it favors Izzy.