IMMAF | Christian Leroy Duncan Dethrones Djati Mélan To Claim Cage Warriors Gold

Former Cage Warriors champ, Chris Leroy “CLD” Duncan, 27, is making his second UFC walk on Saturday night. His debut ended in an anti-climatic fashion as his opponent was “TKO’d” in the first round due to a knee injury. Nonetheless, CLD’s record grew to 8-0 with 7 finish wins.

Fellow middleweight prospect, Armen “Superman” Petrosyan, 32, is currently 2-1 in the UFC with all 3 wins coming via the judges. Prior to the UFC, all of Petrosyan’s fights ended inside the distance as he amassed a 6-1 record.

Betting Odds

As fight night nears, the odds between these two have narrowed slightly.

  • Leroy Duncan: -150 (BetUS)
  • Petrosyan: +125 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Leroy Duncan is an exciting and all-action fighter with a complete skillset to back it up. CLD is a well-built athlete with smooth stance-switching ability, and an explosive striking game.

The two fights he ended prior to the UFC were knockouts: flying knee and spinning back elbow. While his UFC debut ended quickly and unfortunately we didn’t get to see much but what we did see was Leroy Duncan’s smooth and fluid striking, his ability to athletically push a pace, his strength in the clinch, and the power that he effortlessly throws.

Beyond his impressive striking, CLD is a solid wrestler and grappler, although he often selects a more fan-friendly striking strategy. The questions that surround his game all stem from his minimal experience. He’s proven to have 3 round cardio and can push a consistent pace; but, while that was in a respected promotion, it was not in the UFC.

As we often see, UFC cardio is different than cardio in other promotions. The other question in CLD’s game is much more important in this fight: his tendency to look for a highlight reel finish. Leroy Duncan is hyper-athletic and can find exciting finishes, but, if he tries a high-risk, high-reward attack against a technical and powerful striker, it might come back to bite him.

Petrosyan is a technical and, outside of the UFC, powerful striker. “Superman” stands with a wide and bouncy, almost karate style, base which he uses to leap into and out of range. Petrosyan has solid hands, snapping kicks, good volume, and reliable cardio.

He can land from a variety of angles with a variety of attacks; but, interestingly, the pre-UFC power that got many in the MMA community excited has not yet translated to the biggest stage. Instead, Petrosyan has relied on his speed and footwork to land multi-piece combinations and get out of range before he can get countered.

He’s severely struggled to keep the fight on the feet and get up when taken down; but, since I expect this fight to primarily take place on the feet, I doubt Petrosyan’s poor takedown defense will play much of a factor in this fight.

More importantly, is Petrosyan’s struggle when he’s forced to fight off his back foot. He is smooth, athletic, and crisp when “Superman” gets to dictate pace and space. However, when opponents can crash distance and force the fight to take place in boxing range or in the clinch, Petrosyan struggles to land with the success he has at kickboxing range.

Best Bet and Prediction

This fight comes down to if CLD can fight a smart fight instead of an exciting one. If Leroy Duncan allows the fight stays at range for 15 minutes and goes tit for tat with Petrosyan, Petrosyan’s volume and movement will likely propel him to victory. However, if CLD crashes distance, forces toe-to-toe exchanges, and engages the clinch, he should have a clear advantage and plenty of opportunities to deal real damage.

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I like Leroy Duncan to follow that game plan and, especially in the clinch with elbows and knees, be the one landing the far more damaging shots in this fight. Petrosyan has a solid chin but CLD can hit like a truck so I’m avoiding a method on this one. Instead, I’ll take Leroy Duncan straight with confidence.

Best Bet: Leroy Duncan to win (-150)

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