Danaa Batgerel will make his turnaround after a losing effort in March against Chris Gutierrez by knockout. Prior to this defeat, the Mongolian fighter nicknamed “Storm” looked unbeatable having earned three KO victories after a close decision loss in his debut. However, after sustaining the most devastating loss in his UFC career, Danaa is eager to return and lucky for him the opportunity was afforded when Saimon Oliveira was removed from his scheduled bout with Kyung-ho Kang at UFC 275.
In order to get his redemption, Danaa will have to get past Kang, a well-rounded fighter with already 10 UFC fights under his belt. This experience, plus extensive time in ROAD FC has truly hardened Kang. However, he too will be looking to bounce back from a loss when his three-fight winning streak was snapped in November by Rani Yahya.
Batgerel vs. Kang is scheduled for this Saturday’s UFC 275 fight card in Singapore. UFC 275 is a PPV event featuring two title fights and a highly-anticipated strawweight rematch between Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. The full fight card will air exclusively on
Danaa Batgerel is currently listed as the betting favorite on the popular betting site BetUS.
A successful $100 bet on Danaa Batgerel would return a total of $171. On the other hand, a winning $100 bet on Kyung-ho Kang would pay out $210 for winners.
Danaa Batgerel is an extremely aggressive fighter. He likes the overhand right and left hook as primary weapons, but he throws very wide and looping often. Yet inside these wide combinations, tight straight and a sharp hook appear and cut through his typical rhythm. Likely he will be the one to take control of the center of the cage, he pours on tremendous pressure and looks to trap his opponents against the fence so as to create opportunities where they cannot evade big punches. However, out in the open, these same punches often get him in trouble as when there is space to move away, he ends up chasing them and can get caught coming in. When he is hurt, he looks to utilize the front kick as a gap creator in order to recover.
Kang has much more basic but very solid and fluid striking. He stands in a longer stance more rooted in the ground but is also very agile. He does most of his work with his hands, he has a crisp jab and generally strong boxing. He will also throw in leg kicks but that has also been his greatest weakness due to his stance and his habit of leaning hard onto the lead leg before shooting. Investing in the leg is a very smart tactic for Danaa. Kang, however, in punching range may actually be the sharper striker.
In terms of grappling, both men are very good. Danaa has a more wrestling-centric style with big takedowns, especially throws from the rear body lock and looking for the outside trip and following through with the power shots. On top, he has brutal ground and pound especially if he finds himself controlling his opponent in the turtle and defensively he is also exceptionally good at creating awkward positions where he can stall position and land strikes.
What he lacks in submission ability is Kang’s specialty, he has a good single leg although the wrestling advantage probably goes to Danaa. On the ground however Kang is a submission wizard, his ultimate goal is usually to take back, and against the cage, by attacking the single-leg he is often able to swerve to the back and get his opponents to turn towards the cage before syncing in hooks and rolling to dragging to the ground where he can complete the finish.
Striking-wise, Danaa has the power advantage, and he has more weapons. Still, a consistent problem he has faced is that he has a habit of head hunting and throwing very wide, which makes Kang’s straight and precise boxing down the middle very effective. The biggest issue for Kang will be finding his way to the mat should he want to mix in and pursue his submission game as Danaa’s wrestling and takedown defense in particular are very strong. If he can hurt Danaa however, if either man is dropped or if Danaa takes the initiative to finish the takedown or slam, look for Kang to reverse position and demonstrate why he is the more accomplished grappler in the octagon.
Prediction: Kyung-ho Kang to win (+110 at BetUS)
Braeden Arbour is an aspiring journalist out of Ontario, Canada. He is a recent graduate of Trent University, with a black belt in Karate and a blue belt in Judo. He has also been an avid fan of MMA for the last decade.