Yanez, 27, is 14-3 as a professional and 3-0 in the UFC. Yanez is currently on a seven-fight winning streak with six knockout wins. Grant is 35 years old, 13-5 as a professional, but is 4-4 in the UFC. His most recent fight was a decision loss.
Yanez vs. Grant betting odds
Yanez is one of the largest favorites on the card against Grant.
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Yanez vs. Grant breakdown
Yanez is a talented young prospect who has impressed a lot of people, myself included, with his boxing. Yanez is fundamentally and technically sound, capable of piecing an opponent up from range without absorbing much damage. Then, in his last fight, Yanez showed an ability to eat big shots in a high octane fight against a challenging striker and return with power and accuracy in route to a finish. In both types of fights, technical or brawl, Yanez has proven that he is a real problem for the bantamweight division. His hand speed, power, footwork, head movement, newly showcased chin, and natural instincts make him one of the best boxers in the division. Further, his 100% takedown defense has ensured the fight remains on the feet where he often has a clear edge.
Grant is a bit of an enigma. He is a UFC veteran who cut his teeth and maintained his contract through wrestling and submissions. However, in his last three fights, Grant completely flipped his fight style and literally came out swinging. In two of his last three fights, Grant finished two fighters on the feet, something he’d only done once before in 2012. His newfound approach is not rooted in technique and his power does not follow a stiff jab. Instead, Grant, recently, has fought with a wild, almost bar-like brawl, approach. He rushes forward, swings big looping punches, eats a shot to land a few in return, and throws everything he has behind his strikes. His output has been notably high; but, looked to gas later in the fight. Going from a dedicated wrestler and grappler to an exciting striker has made Grant some bonus money and put him on the map against a higher caliber of fighter. I’m not sure which Grant, the wrestler or the striker, we’ll see Saturday. In either case, it should be fun.
Yanez vs. Grant prediction
Grant could come out, flip his strategy again, and attempt to wrestle Yanez. However, other fighters have tried this and failed to be able to get Yanez down. Instead, I anticipate Grant continuing his wild striking style that has been successful. Yanez then will either engage like he did in his last fight and test both his and Grant’s chin or masterfully stick and move to avoid the big shots as he lands pinpoint counters of his own. In either case, I like Yanez to win and finish Grant.
Prediction: Yanez inside the distance
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.