Chas “The Scrapper” Skelly, 36, will reenter the octagon for the first time since a decision win in 2019. Thus far, in the UFC, Skelly is 7-3-1. Striegl, three years younger, lost his UFC debut via knockout in 2020. Fourteen of Striegl’s eighteen wins have come by submission, and all three losses have come by finish.
Skelly is a 2:1 favorite over Striegl before UFC Fight Night 201.
- Skelly: -200
- Striegl: +160
To put it bluntly, per UFC standards, Skelly is a poor striker. He only averages two significant strikes per minute and absorbs 3.3. Striking, though, is not what has propelled Skelly to an 18-3 record. His ground game is the reason for the respectable record. Skelly is a capable wrestler and will shoot once or twice a fight; but, more regularly, forces the fight in tight on the feet, causes a scramble, and happily gets the fight to the ground, even if he’s the one to land on the bottom. Once the fight is on the mat, Skelly relentlessly hunts submissions. He is adept at chaining submission attempts together, fluidly moving from one limb to the next. While many fighters will look for one submission at a time, Skelly impressively can attempt one submission while setting up another as a backup option. This has led to a variety of submission victories. The main gaps in Skelly’s game come against solid strikers who can piece him up on the feet or defensively aware wrestlers who can rack up control time while defending submission attempts.
Striegl is a dedicated wrestler, but we haven’t had the chance to see his game translate to the UFC level; this is because he ran into a buzzsaw in Said Nurmagomedov, who knocked Striegl out in 51 seconds during Striegl’s debut. Striegl, who has an impressive Sambo background, boasts a wrestle-heavy approach. Both on the feet and in grappling exchanges, Striegl relies on explosive movements. When striking, Striegl will often blitz forward and swing big. Like many wrestlers, Striegl uses this wide-swinging blitz approach to close the distance and allow the momentum of the strikes to be chained into a takedown attempt. Once he can lock his hands, Striegl can secure the takedown more often than not. Once on the mat, he is skillful at hunting and finding offensive submissions. However, because of his explosive style, Striegl can get himself caught in dangerous positions and finished. He’ll need to sure up the defense against the sneaky Skelly.
Striegl could play right into Skelly’s game plan: go to the mat, make an explosive movement, get caught in a bad position, and tap to Skelly. But, that is a lot of moving parts to happen for a -200 favorite to win. Instead, in a fight with such similar low-level fighters, give me the guy who will initiate the wrestling, will often be on top and has the underdog odds.
Prediction: Striegl to win
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.