Prediction: Drakkar Klose vs. Rafa Garcia | UFC 277 1

UFC on ESPN 34 took place on April 16th, 2022; Drakkar Klose was coming off of a two-year stint outside of the cage due to injury, and Rafa Garcia was looking to earn his second ever UFC victory. Scheduled back to back in separate bouts, the pressure was on for both men to perform, especially with Vicente Luque and Belal Muhammad set to headline later that night.

Despite the pressure, both men would steal the show with huge finishes respectively. Rafa Garcia would sink in a rear naked choke on Jesse Ronson with 10 seconds left of the second round after being deducted a point which left him in danger on the scorecards. Minutes later, Drakkar Klose would step into the cage, dominate Brandon Jenkins for an entire round and then finish him with strikes in the second. Whether or not the equally stunning finishes in the same night is what influenced the UFC to match up Drakkar Klose with Rafa Garcia at UFC 277 isn’t confirmed, but once again the two men will look to deliver a highlight reel finish, this time against each other.

Klose vs. Garcia Betting Odds

Coming off of his first UFC win, Garcia will once again find himself the underdog. A $100 bet on Garcia could return a profit of $186 should he win.

Klose vs. Garcia Breakdown

Drakkar Klose vs. Rafa Garcia is a great scrappy matchup. Both men load up and throw with shots that have bad intentions behind them. Klose should have the edge in the feet with higher accuracy, output and defensive ability over his career compared to Garcia. The way he actually strikes, tends to be very much in his opponent’s face with a solid right cross, but truly dangerous uppercuts and hooks. His right uppercut is likely his best weapon, and he will set it up with his leaping jab, allowing his opponent to slip and clash with him on the inside, at which point he ties up with a single plum clinch and fires the right.

It’s this clinch that Klose does his best work, beating up his opponent with great clinch wrestling and dirty boxing, and choosing his moments to release on one side and fire away with a variety of strikes from his right. He is extremely strong and physical in the clinch, and although this method has caused him to run out the clock and win decisions more than naught, it’s proven to be exceptionally effective.

Rafa Garcia, has the lower stats on the feet, but has a slight edge in the grappling department. He has 8 submission victories, withe rear naked choke being the finishing move of choice in the past four years. On the feet he has a very low spread out stance, best used for shooting, but it also allows him to burst forward with a powerful right straight. He also sets up this right cross with his signature low calf kick, as well as the constant threat of a level change. The latter of which works so well because he has a great takedown tactic, he likes to shoot for the double, he may keep or switch to a single but the important part is that he is always and immediately looking to turn the corner and circle. Most of the time this lands him in his opponent’s butterfly guard and he can look to pass to half, but if his opponent looks to turn away and escape as he is circling, then he gets the back in one sequence. His ability to transition to the back is wickedly fast, and while the ability to maintain control on top until the submission attempt has lacked in the past it has been the primary focus since his previous camp.

Klose vs. Garcia Prediction

A couple of things to note about this matchup: Drakkar Klose does tend to get tangled up a little bit, and Garcia is great at snatching onto the neck. Secondly, this is only the second time we will be seeing Klose fight since sustaining a neck injury leading up to his previously scheduled bout with Jeremy Stephens, an injury which he himself has cited as causing problems that may leave him never fighting the same. That being said, the one time we did see him since this occurrence, he looked as good as ever. Klose has the physicality and the wrestling ability to deny Garcia’s level changes, and if Garcia is getting picked apart against the fence, he may take the risks and look to clinch grappling with Klose in order to find his way to the ground, however that is exactly where Klose wants it.

Pick: Drakkar Klose to win (-245 odds at MyBookie)

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