Thomas Petersen UFC

A thunderous clash of unranked heavyweights is set to take place this Saturday, February 3rd, as the Octagon lights up for UFC Fight Night 235.

Wrestling prospect Thomas Petersen (“The Train”) is set to make his UFC debut after a DWCS submission win, facing off against the seasoned Jamal Pogues (“The Stormtrooper”) in a bout brimming with potential fireworks. Both fighters carry contrasting styles and ambitions to crack into the divisional rankings, setting the stage for a captivating showdown.

Betting Odds

Fight Breakdown

Thomas “The Train” Petersen, true to his moniker, has steamrolled his way through the competition, emerging as one of the most promising heavyweight prospects to come out of DWCS. His eight professional wins have come in dominant fashion, with many finishes showcasing his potent wrestling and relentless ground-and-pound, the former shown on DWCS which was not surprising given he is a former Iowa Central wrestler, winning a Juco National title.

While the wrestling game of Petersen is certainly there, the hands are somewhat concerning in this stage of his career. While I anticipate his striking to progress fight-over-fight, the rate of progression is relatively unknown. If the rate is slower than ideal, facing a UFC veteran may cause Petersen issues, given if he cannot secure a takedown early, then he may face obstacles requiring tools he does not have — technical standup.

Jamal Pogues, a veteran of the fight game, offers a stark contrast to Petersen’s youthful exuberance. With nearly double the professional experience, Pogues possesses a technical striking arsenal honed over a decade of competition. His combinations on the feet can keep opponents at bay, while his powerful leg kicks can wear down and significantly lessen their power.

While the striking can be perceived through a favorable lens as a strength of his fight game, the major issue for Pogues has been his susceptibility to takedowns. His past losses often resulted from being out-grappled and overpowered on the ground, both of which are of grave concern here facing an elite wrestling opponent. If Pogues cannot improve his takedown defense and/or leverage his large, heavy frame in the grappling department, he may fall victim to another on-the-mat finish by Petersen.


This fight is quite interesting given both fighters are sub-30 years of age and each can be seen as eventually finding a ranked number if they progress in their careers. While each has this potential, the most likely of the two to do so is Petersen, given his high-end wrestling credentials.

Leaning heavily on this aspect of his game is justified, as we have seen other heavy-wresters perform well against non-ranked opponents, Alexander Romanov being a great example. Because of this, accompanied with Pogues having less than stellar takedown defense, I am electing to back Petersen; and, because his gas tank is a concern, I anticipate Petersen looking to end the night as quickly as possible, with either a ground and pound or another submission victory here.

Bet: Peterson ITD (+140 at MyBookie)

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