Jack Jenkins lands a left hand (Zuffa LLC)

Jack Jenkins and Chepe Mariscal will go head-to-head in a featherweight battle at UFC 293.

Read on for the latest betting odds, as well as a detailed fight breakdown and prediction for this preliminary bout.

Betting Odds

Jack Jenkins is a big favorite ahead of his UFC 293 fight against Chepe Mariscal.

  • Jack Jenkins: -200 (BetUS)
  • Chepe Mariscal: +165 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Jack Jenkins is coming off a controversial split decision win over Jamall Emmers that most believe he lost. With that win, he’s now riding a nine-fight win streak with five finishes (three knockouts, two submissions) and is 12-2 overall as a pro. Jenkins is a well-rounded fighter with clean striking and underrated wrestling. Hopefully, he’s learned from his fight with Emmers and looks more like the promising featherweight prospect we saw before it.

You’ll hear the commentators mention it constantly whenever Jenkins fights but his best weapon is the calf kick. He’s broken the leg of his opponent three different times with it and has found success using it in the UFC thus far. He sets up the kick well with other kicks to the head and body from both southpaw and orthodox. One thing I love about Jenkins’ striking is his willingness to work the body and leg instead of headhunting. When he’s coming forward and puts together clean combinations, they usually target all three levels and end with a heavy low kick.

His offensive striking is impressive, but he finds himself falling behind in the striking numbers as he doesn’t often look for the counter. He focuses a lot on defending the strikes and ensuring that he gets out of range and is able to reset his feet to move forward again. He began to fire a check left hook as Emmers entered, but this wasn’t diverse enough and he’ll need to continue to work on the counters going forward. His striking is also hindered by his need to plant the feet and throw. At times against Emmers, you see him press forward and throw feints before backing Jamall to the cage but when Jenkins went to set and throw, Emmers was already out of danger by the time he was able to get the combo going.

Jack’s wrestling is an area that we didn’t see a lot of pre-UFC but since making it to the big show, he’s shown just how well-versed he is in the grappling department. He does his best work from the clinch where he fires off a lot of body shots with knees and punches before working for a trip or throw. He doesn’t chase submissions from here; if he has good control on top, he’ll keep good pressure on his opponent and work ground n pound. If he’s presented with an opportunity to take the back however, he’s more than willing to oblige and chase the rear naked choke.

His opponent, Chepe Mariscal, will be making his UFC Featherweight debut after winning his first bout with the promotion on short notice at 155 lbs. This doesn’t speak to the experience of Mariscal however; he fought eight former or future UFC veterans before getting the call himself, going 3-5 against them. Mariscal is an aggressive fighter who can be a bit wild at times but hunts the finish from the beginning bell to the end. He’s more well rounded than you’d expect and he displayed all areas of his game against Trevor Peek.

Chepe generates a lot of power in his striking but many of his shots come from the hip and are telegraphed. The way he gets around this is by using jolting movements with his head and feet when entering to force his opponent to react before he targets the new openings with his looping power. In space, Mariscal is very good at utilizing the leg kick but isn’t as big a part of his game as I’d hoped. He hides the kick well behind his punches and it’s quick with a lot of force behind it.

Mariscal likes to go for takedowns along the cage and in the clinch, favoring lateral throws most recently against Peek. He works similarly to Jenkins in the clinch where he digs knees, elbows, etc. before looking to transition into the takedown attempt. On the ground, Chepe is just as aggressive, working ground and pound while being aware of submission opportunities as they arise. He does suffer from a lack of technique here as well when he’s on top, often giving escape routes to better grapplers.

Chepe’s defense is both a strength and a potential weak point on film. He utilizes a high guard to defend strikes as they come in high and is good about utilizing this guard throughout all three rounds. However, he can leave his body open especially as the fight goes and his feet aren’t as quick to get him out of range. Peek found success here in the second and third rounds of their war but in typical Peek fashion, he went back to swinging for the head. It’ll be interesting to see if Jenkins is able to identify this and work combos that end with those big kicks/punches to the body or leg.

Fight Prediction

This is going to be a war between two aggressive, tough strikers. Jenkins is more polished but the pressure and power of Mariscal could play a big factor as Jack does have a tendency to avoid engaging when his opponent comes forward. If Mariscal is capable of pushing this type of pace on Jenkins over three rounds, Jack may not find enough opportunities to land his own offense and could let this one slip away.

For Jenkins to extend his win streak to 10, he’ll need to go back to digging shots to the body and leg to wear down the motor and movement of Mariscal. Jenkins hasn’t displayed the boxing we saw on the regional circuit since joining the UFC, but his hands are fast and accurate when he comes forward; he’ll need to let them go to fend off the vicious pace of Mariscal.

Jenkins’ striking defense and reaction time should be enough for him to avoid taking major damage. If Jack goes forward and can find his striking rhythm with the leg and body kicks as well as his boxing combos, I think he’ll show that he’s the more polished striker. I wouldn’t consider either guy a wrestling-first type of fighter and with the solid takedown defense on both sides, I’m hoping we get a fifteen minute war and I believe Jenkins comes out on top on the scorecards for the third time in the UFC.

  • Prediction: Jenkins to win -200 (BetUS)
  • Best Bet: Jenkins by decision +150 (BetUS)

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