Carpenter (6-0) is set to make his UFC debut after an impressive showing on Dana White’s Contender Series in August of 2022. While the intention of that show is to look for the finish and earn a contract, Carpenter did far more than just that, as he showcased a plethora of skills and intent to have great success in the UFC contrary to simply earning a contract. This intent, which was seen with fellow DWCS fighters such as Phil Hawes and Jack Della Madelena makes me, and many other fight fans, excited at the prospect of what Carpenter will do in the UFC’s flyweight division.
His opponent, Ronderos (4-1), entered the promotion on short notice and was thrown to the wolves to fight a highly touted flyweight veteran, David Davorik. While Ronderos presented little to no threat in that fight, the fact that he had next to no time to prepare to fight such an elite flyweight should not be held too much against him. Instead, this fight should be perceived as his true debut, and, given his affinity for finding a submission victory, the new debut could be filled with excitement!
Carpenter is a -275 favorite over Ronderos.
- Clayton Carpenter: -275
- Juancamilo Ronderos: +260
Carpenter’s promotional video leading up to his DWCS fight got me excited about what he can do once the octagon door closes. From an early age, he was bread to be an MMA fighter. While I expect many more to follow this path in the not-so-distant future, it is indeed exciting to see the next wave of fighters come into the UFC, that is, truly well-rounded athletes who are extremely comfortable wherever the fight takes place.
In his last fight, Carpenter showcased a plethora of solid skills that is always accompanied by a very strong physical frame. More specifically, he used quick and accurate calf kicks early in the fight and showed the ability, and desire, to wrestle his way to the mat where he was quite pragmatic once there – he did not rush anything, instead, let the position dictate what he could successfully do. While Carpenter did not get the fight-ending finish so many DWCS fighters need to earn a contract, the extent of high-end potential he displayed made his contract quite easy to secure.
The only potential hesitation with marking him as one of the elite of the elite prospects in a division that has the likes of Mokaev, Kape, and many others, is that he did struggle early against the veteran savviness of his opponent, but, displayed the ability to battle back and put on a dominating performance after facing adversity is something that Carpenter will inevitably need to do in a deep flyweight division, and he showcased the ability to do just that in his DWCS fight.
Whereas Carpenter is an exciting prospect for the flyweight division, Ronderos has work to do to establish himself as an exciting fighter among UFC fans. The benefit he has going for him is having solid punching power for being in the lightest division for the men’s division, and, if he can find his way to the mat from an offensive perspective, he has knowledge on the ground to work his way to a neck, where, his solid squeeze will allow him to find the finish.
The talent of Ronderos is quite minimal from an insight perspective as he displayed next to nothing in his UFC debut, and, is quite nuanced as a professional given his brief professional tenure. What is quite interesting is that while this is indeed the case, he earned himself a 5-round fight in his previous promotion, and, the fight makers allowed him to find a hyper-dangerous opponent in his UFC debut — this formulated because of last-second need, but would not have been made if they did not believe he had a chance to earn the victory. So, while Ronderos is mildly unknown, undersized, and lacks speed which is mandatory in this division, he does have offensive danger, particularly with having the ability to find the submission through his strong squeeze which always makes him live in a fight.
Prediction and Betting Guide
I fully expect Carpenter to dominate this fight. He will be the more technical fighter everywhere, and, will be the much faster opponent in this matchup. Early, I anticipate Carpenter to use advanced footwork to find angles to land his calf kick, and once Ronderos begins to get frustrated on the feet, land either a knee up the middle on a lazy takedown, or, land a takedown himself to show his ground and pound is at a level where he can do so against a dangerous submission opponent. However Carpenter decides to fight this fight, he should have the advantage, as such, I am confidently taking him here, and, love him in parlays.
Bet: Carpenter in parlays (-275)