Prediction: Dwight Grant vs Dustin Stoltzfus | UFC on ABC 3
Dwight “The Body Snatcher” Grant earned a UFC contract following a second-round knockout on Dana White’s Contender Series back in 2018. Since then, Grant has fought seven times and has gone 3-4. He has one knockout, and two split decision wins. Grant also has two knockouts and two split decision losses.
Dustin Stoltzfus, 30, is seven years younger than Grant and is also a DWCS alum. Since earning his contract, Stoltzfus has gone 0-3 in the UFC, losing once by decision and twice by submission.
Stoltzfus vs. Grant will take place on the UFC on ABC 3 early preliminary card this weekend.
Dwight Grant is a slight favorite over Dustin Stoltzfus before UFC on ABC 3.
On paper, even at 37 years old, Grant is a dangerous fighter that causes match-up issues with many unranked fighters. He is bricked up and athletic, has legit power from both stances, and is a basic but effective offensive and defensive wrestler. However, in reality, Grant has struggled to put his whole game together. Most of his struggles can be traced back to his strange combination of passivity and poor cardio. Grant strikes at a low volume, often standing completely still waiting for his opponent to initiate offense. Then, he’ll suddenly burst forward, swing 1-2 looping power shots, and reset. In round 1, Grant’s burst style is dangerous and he’s finished 7 of his 11 wins by knockout.
However, despite fighting with passivity and low volume, Grant often gasses out if the fight exits the 1st round. This results in his style completely changing. He shifts from a burst counter striker, sloppy but powerful, to a clinch wrestler. Without the cardio to hang on the feet, Grant’s opponents who survive round 1 have been able to out-strike him in the later rounds. Grant no longer has the energy to burst forward with a combination; so, instead, he’ll absorb combinations with a high guard, then burst forward looking for a takedown. Often, Grant’s entry is telegraphed, so the takedown is sloppy, but, his speed and strength propel him enough to engage the clinch against the cage. From here, Grant will look to clinch fight and rack up control time for the remainder of the round. Historically, fighters who survive round 1 have found success against Grant. Recently, fighters who are intelligent and volume heavy on the feet have also found success, even early.
Stoltzfus has not had an ideal start in the UFC. He, like Grant, often fights with low volume, looking to counterstrike with a heavy blow. Typically, Stoltzfus’ game plan is to create a scramble, whether he initiates the takedown or not, and get the fight to the mat. 5 of his 13 wins have come via submission, and he has hung with solid UFC submission fighters- Meershaert, Vieira, and Daukaus. The issue, though, is that Stoltzfus has been given three primary grapplers, yet, he’s been outstruck in all three fights. This is because he tends to be a stationary target, standing tall and still in the cage, and rarely moves his body or head from the center line.
His striking defense relies solely on his unyielding chin; he’s able to eat heavy shots and stay standing. His goal, on the feet, is to either fight at a wide range where his lengthy body and long arms allow him to strike safely. Or, he wants a fight chest to chest in the clinch where he can grapple. Thus far, Stoltzfus has struggled at boxing range and in the pocket where opponents with better striking can outland him and exit out before he can clinch.
Both of these fighters are flawed, limited, and likely fighting for their jobs. Additionally, while both men are unsound defensively, they’ve never been finished by their opponent’s singular strength- Grant has never been submitted and Stoltzfus never knocked out. Therefore, I’m anticipating this fight going the distance in what will likely be a sloppy showing. In a fight that will likely last 15 minutes, I lean Stoltzfus, he’ll be fresher later and more likely to win the striking and grappling exchanges once Grant gasses out. So long as Stoltzfus isn’t finished early, I like him to win a close, or even split, decision.
Prediction: Stoltzfus to win by decision (+110 odds to win at MyBookie)