Vic “From Hell” Pichel not only has one of the best mustaches in the business but he also has a three-fight win streak entering Saturday night. Overall, the 39-year-old Factory X product is 14-2 with eight stoppage wins and both losses coming inside the distance. On the other side, Mark “The Olympian” Madsen also has a three-fight winning streak in the UFC and has a perfect 11-0 professional record.
Pichel is a slight favorite over Madsen.
- Pichel: -135
- Madsen: +105
Pichel has a typical approach to the fight game each time he enters the octagon. He looks to knock his opponent’s head off with an overhand right. Typically, Pichel will walk forward, pumping a jab forward more so as a feint than an actual attack. Then, once in his striking range, “From Hell” will load up, throw a looping power shot, and exit the pocket. He needs to exit the pocket quickly because if he is caught in wrestling range, he will likely be taken down. He only has 25% takedown defense in the UFC. To his credit though, Pichel is well-rounded and can offensively wrestle decently well and scramble well enough to stand back up once he hits the mat. Ultimately, Pichel is a tough and grizzled veteran who will rarely lose a fight himself. Instead, because of his solid power, tough chin, impressive for his age cardio, offensive wrestling, and scrambling ability, for Pichel to lose, his opponent needs to beat him. Meaning, that Pichel rarely makes mistakes and can survive a grueling 15-minute fight.
Madsen, too, has a typical approach to the fight game: wrestle. He is an Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling. On the feet, the Olympian is average at best. His striking is slow and basic while his striking defense is porous and ineffective. In his last fight, Madsen tried to be a boxer and was caught a few times on the feet. But, when he wrestles, his skillset, despite his age, is still apparent. He can get a guy down over and over but struggles to hold him once the fight hits the mat. Madsen’s typical approach is to land multiple takedowns per fight en route to a decision win. If he tries to stand and strike, or if his opponent can stuff his attempts, Madsen does not have many other paths to victory.
This bout is between two elder fighters whose specialties are challenges for their opponent. Pichel is a solid striker with real power and will have the edge on the feet. Madsen is a highly-accredited wrestler with a clear edge on the mat. If Madsen decides to try and strike again, he’ll be pieced up and likely finished. But, if he falls back on his extensive tenure and wrestles, he should coast to a 30-27 victory. In a close fight, I side with the fighter who can dictate the outcome, and that is Madsen.
Prediction: Madsen by Decision
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.