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UFC Fight Night 114 fight card: Rashad Evans vs Sam Alvey preview

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UFC Fight Night 114 fight card: Rashad Evans vs Sam Alvey preview

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight veterans Rashad Evans and Sam Alvey will throw down this Saturday (Aug. 5, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 114 inside Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico.

Is this Rashad Evans’ last stand? The former Light Heavyweight champion made his Middleweight debut a few months ago, but it still resulted in his third straight loss. Against a reasonably tough but certainly beatable fighter, Evans is likely fighting for his UFC career.

Meanwhile, Alvey continues to be among the most frustrating fighters to watch. He somehow — consistency more than anything, but power helps too — wins fights reasonably often, though he did come up short last time out. Regardless, this is a big opportunity for the “Smile’n” athlete.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man.

Rashad Evans

Record: 21-6-1

Key Wins: Phil Davis (UFC on FOX 2), Dan Henderson (UFC 161), Chuck Liddell (UFC 88), Quinton Jackson (UFC 114)

Key Losses: Jon Jones (UFC 145), Dan Kelly (UFC 209), Glover Teixeira (UFC on FOX 19), Ryan Bader (UFC 192), Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (UFC 156)

Keys to Victory: In his prime, Evans was an excellent blend of wrestling and boxing, able to blend together the two with a quickness few could match. Nowadays, Evans ability to shift between them isn’t so smooth, and he struggles to really dominate in either area.

That makes winning a decision difficult

On the bright side, Alvey is remarkably average in a lot of ways. He hits hard, but he relies almost entirely on the counter right hook and hates leading. If you stand at range and kick him, he’ll occasional move in with a left cross-right hook, but otherwise the Southpaw will just watch.

Evans has never been much of a range kicker, but he doesn’t have to be. If he maintains his distance and kicks to score points, Alvey will have to open up at some point. When he does, Evans can look to change levels and wrestle. Even having lost a step, there’s a fair chance he’ll score the takedown and earn some points.

If he can kick and shoot for a couple takedowns per round, there’s a fair chance he’ll win the decision on that alone.

Sam Alvey

Record: 30-9 (1)

Key Wins: Nate Marquardt (UFC on FOX 23), Dan Kelly (UFC Fight Night 65), Alex Nicholson (TUF Latin America 3 Finale)

Key Losses: Thales Leites (UFC Fight Night 108), Derek Brunson (UFC Fight Night 73), Elias Theodorou (UFC Fight Night 89)

Keys to Victory: As mentioned, Alvey wins fights via consistency and toughness. He’s not an easy man to finish nor take down, and he generally maintains at decent pace for three rounds. Alongside his natural power, that’s enough to beat most non-top 15 Middleweights.

It’s probably enough to beat Rashad Evans too.

Evans has never liked fighting Southpaws. He tends to get drawn into a staring match, something Alvey has plenty of experience in. With his lead hand, Alvey will be able to tie up and occupy Evans’ left, which will leave Evans left with only a long right hand and double leg takedown.

Alvey’s favorite right hook is a perfect counter to an overextended cross, and a poorly set up shot will serve to exhaust Evans rather than score him points.

Bottom Line: It may be Evans’ last fight inside the Octagon.

If “Suga” comes up short, that may be it. There’s a reasonable chance that he’ll receive one last shot against a further step back, but Evans went from headlining big pay-per-view (PPV) events to barely being on the main card of a Fight Night show in Mexico. It’s quite a slide, and one wonders if Evan would pull the plug himself.

On the bright side, a win earns him a place at 185 lbs. Alvey has only been defeated recently by fighters in the upper half of the division, so victory would definitely help Evans bounce back.

Alvey also needs to recover from his recent loss, in which he basically get kicked in the leg for 15 minutes. He’s nowhere near getting released, but Alvey doesn’t want a second ugly loss in a row. Plus, this could easily become the biggest win of his career. Evans may be on the decline, but he’s still a far bigger name than anyone else on Alvey’s resume.

At UFC Fight Night 114, Rashad Evans and Sam Alvey will face off. Which man will have his hand raised?

Source:: mma mania