Prediction: Alex da Silva vs. Joe Solecki | UFC Fight Night 207
Alex da Silva is a 26-year-old lightweight prospect with an impressive 21-3 professional record, however, he is just 1-2 in the UFC. Meanwhile, Joe Solecki, 28, is 11-3 as a professional and 3-1 in the UFC – his lone UFC loss via a split decision. Both Silva and Solecki are exciting young finishers with a combined 88% finish rate which makes for a likely fight of the night bout to jumpstart the 2022 UFC Summer Campaign!
Joe Solecki is a moderate -170 favorite over Alex da Silva at BetUS.
At first glance, Alex da Silva’s impressive record, age, and fight-ending capabilities on the feet and on the mat make him an exciting lightweight prospect. And, when digging a bit deeper beyond first glance, the initial analysis is – mostly – reaffirmed.
Perhaps the best attribute of Alex da Silva is his unrelenting trust in himself, as he fights with a sense of freedom and carefree attitude than can only be attributed to a combination of youthful ignorance and well-rounded attributes. The latter is a far more important data point to analyze, as Silva’s capabilities to perform well wherever the fight ensues is transferable to predicting fight success. Moreover, the well-rounded game, when combined with an aggressive attitude, explains his uncommonly high finish rate, both on the feet and on the ground.
Having an ability to be comfortable wherever the fight ensues combined with the ability to finish the fight no matter the position based on aggressive maneuvers does have its drawbacks. The most notable is gassing one’s self out, and this issue has surfaced for Silva thus far in the UFC. The other main issue is foregoing focus relative to defense. This arises due to Silva throwing big power shots that, if missed, leave a big window for his opponent to land a counterattack quite easily. With regard to this fight, if Silva continues throwing without thought of a counterattack by his opponent, he will be taken down quite easily, and being on his back is not a position he wants to be in this particular fight.
Prior to Joe Solecki’s last fight, I believed that he would go on a significant win streak that could propel him into the ranked-caliber conversation in the not-so-distant future. But, coming with significant surprise, Solecki had a letdown performance in a decision loss to the always tough, Jared Gordon. I bring up this letdown spot because the stylistic approach to fighting was quite different than in Solecki’s alternative UFC bouts. More specifically, he showed a propensity to be content with playing guard from the bottom position and even showed moments of extreme exhaustion as the fight entered the last round. So, if this is a mere anomaly, I believe Solecki has ranked potential; if not, the difficulty in forecasting his individual bouts will loom troubling.
From a positive perspective, using his last fight as a mere outlier, Solecki has great wrestling inside the octagon. Not only can he get the fight to the mat, but once there, Solecki can fluidly transition from position to position, looking for a submission at every movement. This style and comfortability are easily repeated throughout the duration of the fight, and Solecki often elects to do so albeit his striking is developing into an athletic style with sneaky moments of success. In total, his developing, athletic striking, coupled with a well-above-average grappling attack makes him a prospect I am still excited about. My reasoning for this is with the Gordon fight as part of the data-set, as even in this highly disappointing performance by Solecki, his first round was truly elite – nearly a 10-8 – and, most importantly, the letdown spots for Solecki leave me believing it was, in fact, an anomaly contrary to what one can expect him to perform like moving forward.
To be blunt, I have been, and continue to be, a Joe Solecki supporter. His wrestling and elite submission game are attributes that leave me believing he can be a near-ranked fighter in a stacked lightweight division. But, his striking game is a work in progress, and, knowing Silva has some pop in his punches combined with comfort on the mat makes for a potentially more challenging fight than I give it credit. Even with this justified credence given, ultimately, I fully anticipate Solecki timing a takedown off of an overaggressive overhand by Silva, and once on the mat, Solecki’s submission arsenal will be simply too much for Silva to handle.
Bet: Solecki by Submission