Julian Erosa and Steven Peterson will meet at UFC Fight Night 200 underneath Jack Hermansson and Sean Strickland later that night. Both alumni of Dana White’s Contender series, Erosa and Peterson have built up respectable UFC records since 2018. While Erosa won his Contender series bout, a brief three-fight skid to start his UFC run would send him back to the outer leagues before re-entering for a second UFC run in 2020. Since, he has won three of four all by way of finish and hasn’t looked back since as he continues on the highest point in his career. Peterson may have lost his Contender series debut but found himself able to win his way into a UFC contract with just one more LFA fight. After some mixed results, Peterson has now won two in a row including a win over budding star Chase Hooper in 2021. Both men will be rising the momentum of victory into their Saturday night fight but only one will be able to continue the run.
It will cost a $320 wager on the favorite, Erosa to return a profit of $100.
- Erosa: -320
- Peterson: +245
Steven Peterson is a tough, scrappy fighter who looks to do damage wherever the fight goes. On the feet, he stands orthodox and utilizes his jab which he will double up on in order to land the right straight. He does not always use much head movement, instead depending more so on taking shots on the forearm in a shelled guard. This leaves openings to the body and straight through the guard but makes it difficult to land hooks when he draws out a more brawling style. One of the issues he seems to run into is that when he covers up and looks to throw back to the head, he takes kicks to the body fairly often and gets taken down with counter double legs. That being said, being on his back is not a major problem for Peterson whose best attribute is his ability to tie up on the ground and find positional opportunities to land ground and pound from all angles.
Peterson puts up a furious pace whether he is taking punishment or not, and he isn’t scared to eat some shots to keep the action moving. However, once the fight hits the floor, defensively, what Peterson does so well is he goes to positions such as 50-50, closed guard, etc. that in traditional grappling would be considered a stalemate. He then throws with reckless abandon until his opponent adjusts, allowing his striking numbers to creep up as he defends submissions over and over again. If he is the one taking his opponent down and looking to pass guard, there’s a similar look, where he will strike in short bursts until he can advance, but he never forces position if he has an opportunity to land some damage instead, and he will use any weapon available be it elbows, fists or shoulders to do so.
Julian Erosa is also an orthodox fighter, who prefers to box. Out in the open, he has a long style, utilizing straight punches more often but at the first sign of hurting his opponent looks to bully his way inside with hooks and uppercuts, changing up his style substantially. He is very accurate and very good at finding the straight, sniping shots down the middle even inside chaotic scrambles, this will be key as splitting the guard has been an issue for Peterson in the past.
Both men should be game to go hard for the full 15 minutes, however where Peterson relies more on pure cardio, Erosa is efficient, he walks his opponents down without much-wanted movement for taxing footwork and calmly lays on the pressure. He has to be careful that he uses his superior range control to not allow Peterson to force him into wrestling exchanges that do nothing but eat away at their gas tanks, because out of pure work rate, Peterson typically looks physically conditioned in his fights.
One more key for Erosa is to avoid throwing kicks needlessly, in the past he has been countered by the right straight or overhand when he throws, but along with this Peterson will be looking for takedowns as well. He has the better technical boxing and by leaning as much as he can on that the takedown threat and the constant counter he has been caught with can be minimized. Grappling-Wise, Erosa has a high paced jiu-jitsu game, he is constantly chaining techniques to keep his opponents reacting, which will make it difficult for Peterson to settle into positions to land, however on paper, Peterson is still probably the more proficient pure grappler as well, so a submission win for Erosa will be difficult.
Erosa vs. Peterson Prediction
Overall, I think that Erosa is a more technical striker and has enough grappling skills to minimize the risks posed by Peterson there for the most part. He should look to keep it standing as much as possible and pick Peterson apart with his jab and technical boxing and he should be able to pull out the victory.
Prediction: Julian Erosa via decision
Braeden Arbour is an aspiring journalist out of Ontario, Canada. He is a recent graduate of Trent University, with a black belt in Karate and a blue belt in Judo. He has also been an avid fan of MMA for the last decade.