Prediction: Dusko Todorovic vs. Jordan Wright | UFC Fight Night 212
28 year old middleweight, Dusko “Thunder” Todorovic, makes his sixth UFC walk to the octagon on Saturday night. After winning a contract in 2019 with a unanimous decision win on Dana White Contender Series, Todorovic is 2-3 with all but one fight ending inside of 1.5 rounds.
His opponent, Jordan “The Beverly Hills Ninja” Wright, 31, is also 2-3 in the UFC, with all five fights ending under 1.5 rounds. Historical data suggests an early finish.
Todorovic opened just south of a 2:1 favorite and has grown just north of that line throughout the week.
Todorovic was marketed as a large power puncher with sneaky wrestling to fall back on if necessary. Wrestlers with heavy hands tend to be successful fighters in the UFC, but Todorovic has struggled. While his power is solid, his ability to safely find the off-switch on an opponent is nearly nonexistent. Todorovic slowly plots forward in the cage and carries his hands low while his head stays steady on the centerline. Todorovic’s lack of speed, head movement, and footwork result in a stationary and easy to hit target. Further, by keeping his hands low, not only is he easy to hit, Todorovic leaves the most vulnerable body part readily available to be hit, his face.
Fighters who are slow, hittable, and have an exposed chin have to rely on a granite chin to survive firefights, but Todorovic has been knocked out in round 1 in 2 of his last four fights; so, Todorovic does not have a reliable chin either. Said simply, if Todorovic does not put his opponent out early, he’s likely the one to wake up from smelling salts. The positives for Todorovic are that he does have power, realizes he often needs a knockout, and has basic wrestling to fall back on if necessary. In fights where he lands first or mixes in a little wrestling, Todorovic has found moderate success.
Wright shares many similarities with his opponent: he carries his hands low, chin high, rarely moves his head off the centerline, and has good power. Just like Todorovic, Wright’s defense is nonexistent. He regularly walks straight into strikes from his opponent and ignores defense in favor of returning fire. The slight variances in Wright’s game, though, give him a possible edge in this fight. Wright, despite rarely using movement to evade strikes, is light on his feet and athletic for his size. Further, he can mix in a steady diet of kicks and knees into his combinations. Wright’s movement, while it’s often overaggressive, should be much faster than Todorovic’s and give him the opportunity to land first. Also, Wright’s kicks and knees, knees especially heavy from the clinch, should be an effective counter attack should Todorovic try to wrestle.
But, Wright has proven to be a poor decision maker and chinny in the cage. His over-aggression often puts him in poor positions where his chin cannot withstand the onslaught of strikes from his opponent. Just like Todorovic, when Wright lands first, he tends to land with emphasis and can end the fight quickly. But, if he can’t put his opponent out quickly, Wright has been the one with his lights shut off.
Despite being at a lower weight class, this fight breaks down like a sloppy and low-level heavyweight brawl where the fighter with the better chin or better timing will likely win. As neither man has proven an ability to eat a clean shot, whoever lands first likely gets his hand raised.
I anticipate that to be Wright. He’s younger, faster, more aggressive, and has more varied attacks than Todorovic. I like Wright to bullrush forward like he typically does and catch Todorovic early.
Pick: Wright to win in round one
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.