Both Guido Cannetti and Randy Costa are in dire need of a win at UFC Fight Night 211.
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Cannetti, at 42 years old, recently bounced back from a three-fight skid by defeating Kris Moutinho in dominating fashion. The Argentinian fighter has always been one to watch with his explosive, kick-heavy style that more than not brings about knockouts. However, difficult matchups with future stars like Marlon Vera and Danaa Batgerel have littered Cannetti’s UFC record with more losses than wins. That being said, he now has a chance to turn it around and earn his first set of back-to-back victories in the promotion. He has shown flashes of brilliance, and if he can put it all together with some consistency, he can take a great leap in his career.
For Costa, a young up-and-coming fighter at 28 years old, it’s a great chance to get a big win over an experienced opponent. First bursting onto the scene via Cage Titans, Costa soon earned a contract with the UFC with a reputation for quick KOs. In fact, all six of his pro wins have come by KO and all inside the first round. He is one of the most exciting and dynamic talents to start making progress in the UFC, and a win over Cannetti would bring him some more experience which he needs. However, he is coming off of two big losses to Tony kelly and Adrian Yanez, so it’s also an opportunity to see how the young fighter works through adversity.
Cannetti vs. Costa is one of this weekend’s fights happening at UFC Fight Night 211. Subscribe to ESPN+ to watch every UFC fight live.
Cannetti will be a substantial underdog at +220. Those who are bold enough to drop $100 on the Argentinian will look to make $220 in profit if he upsets Costa.
What makes this fight so interesting is that for how differently these two men fight, both are very quick starters and need to establish forward pressure. Guido Cannetti is a much shorter fighter at 5’6 to Costa at 5’9. However, Cannetti almost exclusively fights with long weapons and is primarily a kicker. He tends to keep his distance, circle, and reset whenever his opponents gain on him and then fire a variety of roundhouse and front kicks to all targets. His leg kicks, in particular, are a recurring and heavy weapon however the consistency in their use is what makes him mixing it upstairs so effective. When he punches, he lunges into his shots and only throws about one or two at a time at full length, even his hooks come around almost like ridge hands to get the full range.
Randy Costa is used to being the bigger fighter at 135 lbs, and he will be once again. On top of the height, he will also enjoy a five-inch reach advantage and use it. He likes to be the one pressing forward and kickboxing from range, he is more active in his boxing combinations than Cannetti, but he stands so heavy on his lead leg that he may be susceptible to the leg kicks. He also has a wicked head kick of his own which he chains on the end of his punches better than Cannetti does. However, the main tool for Costa will be his jab, he is good at using it to set everything up and put something in his opponent’s face so as to maintain pressure between big shots.
Cannetti needs to constantly move the mix in his takedowns. His outside trip is beautiful, but he needs the clinch to secure it, so it will be a weapon used if Costa gets overzealous and crashes into the cage instead of maintaining his range. For Costa, he has superior boxing and pressure, and Cannetti has had difficulty when he has been put against the fence and forced to cover up and wait out the onslaught. Costa has the range to pick Cannetti apart against the cage and avoid counters if he can get him to this place. He has to be wary of leg kicks and takedowns, but by maintaining his range and not over-committing, he should be able to time his sprawls. Cannetti is excellent at snatching onto something like kimuras or wizards in order to get up when he is being taken down, but it’s unlikely that Costa will be the one to shoot often.
While I give Costa the advantage in this fight due to his range control and pressure, it’s extremely important to note that both of these fighters are quick to start but begin to fade. Cannetti throws 100% of his power into every shot and is already a kick-heavy fighter which is a very difficult style to keep up.
Costa does not have much experience outside the first round, and those that have gone longer have not gone his way, he tends to come out guns blazing without the ability to tone down his aggression, and he pays for it late. Technically I give Costa the advantage, but largely it will come down to who stays more composed and efficient, and this question may be answered after the two engage immediately.
Prediction: Randy Costa to win (-300 odds 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.