Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight bruisers Sam Sicilia and Gavin Tucker will brawl this Sunday (Feb. 19, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 105 inside Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Sicilia has never been able to find consistent success inside the Octagon, but he’s certainly proven his willingness to throw down. Still, Sicilia has lost his last two bouts in pretty dominant fashion to a pair of skilled young prospects, putting some pressure on him to perform in this bout.
On the other hand, Tucker is an undefeated newcomer representing Nova Scotia. He hasn’t really beaten anyone of note, but Tucker will nevertheless receive a big opportunity to make a name for himself in this one.
Let’s take a look at the keys to victory for each man.
Key Wins: Godofredo Pepey (UFC Fight Night 28), Akira Corassani (UFC on FOX 14), Yaotzin Meza (UFC Fight Night 71)
Key Losses: Gabriel Benitez (UFC Fight Night 94), Doo Ho Choi (UFC Fight Night 79), Rony Jason (UFC 153)
Keys to Victory: Sicilia is a classic wrestle-boxer, relying on winging hooks to set up his power double leg takedowns. Against men who have trapped him on the outside, Sicilia struggles greatly, but he’s also been able to overwhelm foes when allowed to play his game.
Sicilia has stopped eight foes via knockout.
In this bout, Sicilia faces a man similar to himself. Tucker does not have Sicilia’s wrestling experience, but he’s a physical and aggressive athlete who throws himself into the pocket, willing to trade or wrestle.
In short, that’s Sicilia’s wheelhouse. He’s a tough bastard who thrives in ugly brawls, willing to take a shot to land one. As the more proven wrestler and knockout artist — against much higher quality of competition — Sicilia shouldn’t have a problem getting the kind of fight he wants.
If Sicilia is still a UFC-caliber fighter, that’s the kind of fight he must win.
Key Wins: Lyndon Whitelock (ECC 15, 7-3 at time of fight)
Key Losses: None
Keys to Victory: A professional since 2011, Tucker is an aggressive finisher. He’s been to the judges’ scorecards just once, as Tucker generally overwhelms his foes with strong offensive kickboxing and a powerful grappling game.
In this match, Tucker has two real options. The first and most likely is that he meets Sicilia and throws down with the UFC veteran, trading big punches and takedown attempts. That may just work, as Sicilia has both won and lost brawls in the past.
On the other hand, Tucker could attempt to use what has proven to work opposite Sicilia. He has some strong kicks in his arsenal, and he should definitely make use of them. If he maintains his range and kicks Sicilia, he’ll force the American to rush forward and try to reach the pocket.
That style may not be his usual approach, but it will force Sicilia to begin exchanges from a disadvantageous position. Even if Tucker then proceeds to brawl with Sicilia, occasionally forcing Sicilia into uncomfortable spots could be just the edge the Canadian needs to make a victorious debut.
Bottom Line: It’s an important bout in the careers of both men, though it won’t impact the division all that much.
Sicilia is in a must-win position here. The UFC is trimming the roster, so now is perhaps the worst time in recent history to slip to a three fight slide. With a loss, Sicilia is likely gone.
If Sicilia can return to the win column, he’s not entirely out of danger in his next bout, but it’s a definite start. Sicilia puts on consistently entertaining fights, which could keep him employed while others are let go.
On the other hand, this fight will show what Tucker has to offer. He’s never fought anyone particularly good, so this is really a massive step up in competition. It’s possible that he goes out and dominates as usual, but there’s also a chance that Sicilia shows him just how different the big show can be.
Should Tucker come out on top, he’s a fighter to watch moving forward. If not, he’ll receive a second chance, but the stakes will then be higher than ever for the Canadian athlete.
At UFC Fight Night 105, Sam Sicilia and Gavin Tucker will scrap. Which man will have his hand raised?
Source:: mma mania