Niklas Stolze is returning to the octagon following a loss in his debut. Having never been finished, all four of Stolze’s losses have come via decision. His 12 wins are nearly evenly split with four KO/TKO, five submissions, and three decisions.
Jared Gooden is now 0-2 in the UFC and the 27-year-old is looking to find victory by stepping in as a late replacement against Stolze. Overall, of his 17 wins, “Nite Train” has 13 finishes and of his six defeats he has only been finished once.
With two young fighters who are willing to stand and throw, this fight should be a fun one.
Gooden steps in as a late replacement in this bout and will be the betting favorite by the time the first round begins on Saturday night, according to MyBookie.
Stolze vs. Gooden breakdown
No stranger to utilizing his full array of weapons, Stolze has a kickboxing background and can combine his punches and kicks in a devastating way. “Green Mask” tends to follow the newest trend in the UFC and looks to chop his opponent’s base early with calf kicks. Once his opponent’s mobility is compromised, Stolze is able to work his strikes up to the body and head when looking for the finish. Stolze’s biggest question mark is his gas tank; he fought Emeev in his debut who puts on an aggressive and high pace. While many fighters won’t pressure as much as Stolze faced last time, he did slow in the third round. He’ll look to pace himself better this fight so he can continue to throw throughout the fight.
Gooden’s biggest obstacle is his defensive boxing and head movement. While he has only been knocked out once and has a reliable chin, Gooden gets hit… a lot. Often slow and heavily footed, he absorbs a massive amount of volume in his fights— 7.6 significant strikes absorbed per minute. While his defense is punching bag-like, he throws back and throws back with ill-intent. Landing an average of 4.7 significant strikes per minute, Gooden boasts good volume and knockout power. Knockout power and a reliable chin served him well on the regional circuit; he’ll look to realize that same success, for the first time in the UFC, Saturday night.
Stolze vs. Gooden brediction
I was ready for a technical war between two sound strikers with Stolze’s original matchup. Now that Gooden replacing Lazzez, I’m anticipating a more one-sided fight.
Gooden does put on a show when he fights because the man’s head can be snapped back like a PEZ dispenser; but, he keeps coming forward. Though Gooden can entertain, I don’t think he’ll compete. With Stolze’s kicking game and range management, I’m not sure how often Gooden will land in return compared to how frequently he’ll be tagged. If Gooden can outlast the volume of Stolze and test his cardio, Gooden could rally to his first victory. But, because Stolze won’t have to worry about Gooden shooting for a takedown, he’ll likely be able to manage his cardio while capitalizing on Gooden being there to be hit consistently.
Whether a decision or knockout, I see Stolze getting his hand raised.
Prediction: Niklas Stolze 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.