Brad “Quake” Riddell (10-2; 4-1 in the UFC), ranked #14 in the stacked lightweight division, is set to fight “The Tarantula”, Jalin Turner (12-5; 5-2 in the UFC), who is currently unranked.
Both Riddell and Turner are high-end prospects who possess skills far exceeding their ranked status in the division. Riddell, prior to his recent defeat to phenom Rafael Fiziev, was on an impressive seven-fight win streak and showcased an exciting well-rounded skill-set with moments of elite fight attributes. Meanwhile, Turner is currently on a four-fight win streak, and perhaps more impressive than that is him having a 100% finish rate over his 12 professional wins.
With both men coming into their own as a fighter, accompanied by each having high-end talent, rationalizes this bout being a likely Fight of the Night contender as neither man wants the judges to be needed!
UFC 276 is a PPV event and will stream only on
Jalin Turner is a -150 favorite over Brad Riddell who is coming back at a +125 dog.
Brad Riddell is the embodiment of the new-age Aussie/New-Zealand fighter. His grit and toughness are the inherent qualities of nearly all fighters coming out of that region, but when you add high-level, well-rounded skills to the equation results in him being a new-age island fighter.
The best skill trait of Riddell is being comfortable wherever the fight ensues; and more importantly, being able to fight the fight that creates the largest disparity in talent between him and his opponent. On the feet, Riddell has quick boxing with a dangerous right hand. In the clinch, Riddell uses leverage and natural strength to secure the more advantageous position, where he then can wrestle his way to securing a takedown. His ability and willingness to successfully wrestle is by far and away the most overlook positive attribute of his fight game, as many believe he is simply a fighter that wants to stand in a phone booth and fight a war.
In total, the well-rounded game of Riddell makes him a solid fighter; but, the degree to which his well-rounded game can elevate him within the deep lightweight division is still unknown. At the moment, when assessing the talent disparity between him and his previous opponents, I believe Riddell is, at worst, a lightweight rankings gatekeeper; at best, Riddell has the game to cause a significant issue to any non-well-rounded fighter and has the power to beat just about anyone at any given moment.
Jalin Turner is one of the most slept-on prospects in the UFC. Standing 6’2’’, his height and length are innate challenges for his opponent to overcome, but when you add the fact Turner knows how to capitalize on his size advantage, the difficulty of his natural frame is greatly heightened – pun intended.
The way in which Turner utilizes his natural advantage is throwing straight down-the-barrel punches that have a significant amount of snap on them when he lands. Moreover, Turner can throw nearly every strike with ill intentions because if he overextends and gets taken to the mat, his submission game – with his long limbs – is lethal. This overextension may prove to be an issue for Turner when fighting a crisp, technical boxer, given openings to get hit are there, and if his opponent elects to strike contrary to securing the open takedown, Turner may wear too much damage on the feet.
Regardless of the defensive striking concerns, Turner is indeed an interesting prospect. The most exciting aspect of Turner’s fight game is not the size or ability to finish the fight in any position, but the fact that he, being a strong striker and dangerous submission artist, is able to secure a takedown himself. This ability may be scoffed at given many fighters are good wrestlers, but keep in mind that many strike-driven and/or submission-dangerous fighters have difficulty getting the fight to the mat if they so desire. Turner possessing this ability, along with the electrifying power and dangerous submission game, makes him a well-rounded fighter who has the plethora of skills to cause a significant problem for this stacked division.
Turner has shown, of recent note, to have put together pieces of his fight game to make himself a truly dangerous opponent. The issue is that I still believe there are some defensive issues present in his fight game, and at this incredibly high level of divisional opponents, any major weakness is a significant cause for concern. As such, I am backing the more complete Riddell in this matchup because he too is dangerous everywhere, and he has fewer holes in his demonstrated fight game. With that said, if Turner does indeed clean up his striking defense, he has the complete offensive package to not only win this fight but many more to come.
Pick: Brad Riddell to win (+125 odds at MyBookie)
UFC 276 is a PPV event and will stream only on