Sam Patterson competes in BRAVE FC

Yohan Lainesse and Sam Patterson will face off in a welterweight bout on the UFC 297 prelims this Saturday night.

Yohan “White Lion” Lainesse, 31, is 9-2 as a pro and 1-2 in the UFC. His sole win was a split decision, while both losses ended inside the distance.

In his debut, Sam “The Future” Patterson, 27, was knocked out in under 2 minutes. That brought his pro record to 10-2, with both losses coming by knockout.

Betting Odds

Lainesse is a slight favorite in his home country.

  • Yohan Lainesse: -150
  • Sam Patterson: +130

Fight Breakdown

So far in the UFC, Lainesse has struggled to execute the success he had prior to joining the promotion. Prior to the UFC, Lainesse was a large, heavy-handed striker, who used his size, strength, and power to bulldoze lesser competition.

However, in the UFC, Lainesse has been more gunshy in the cage. He’s less willing to let his hands go which results in a negative strike differential, poor volume, and a significant time spent clinched against the cage.

Looking deeper, Lainesse’s main issue on the feet is his struggle to strike his way into range. He tends to prefer a tighter striker where he can load up on his hooks and overhands, but he tends to move in a herky-jerky way to get into that range with few feints and only a simple jab.

He is often caught coming into range which results in him retreating on his back foot. Once on his back foot, Lainesse’s power is significantly reduced, and his lack of volume and footwork means he often can’t re-engage on his terms. Instead, he often looks to grab ahold of his opponent and clinch. His size and strength allow him to hold the clinch but a lack of technique results in him not doing much damage, even in an advantageous position.

We’ve seen a recent crop of young, slender, and long fighters with plenty of bravado coming over to the UFC from the UK. The most successful prospect with this archetype is Ian “The Future” Garry, while the fighter who arguably underwhelmed the most was Rhys “Skeletor” McKee.

Sam “The Future” Patterson, 27, resembles the above two fighters in appearance, confidence, and style. His skillset likely lands somewhere in the middle of the two as well. Patterson is a long striker who can land with snap on the end of his varied strikes. But, he struggles with distance management, head movement, and overall defense.

His typical stylistic preference is to stay at range or be in the clinch. In both cases, his wiry frame gives him an advantage. At range, he is often the longer and more technical fighter. In the clinch, his length creates leverage, which helps him hold opponents against the cage as he looks for body lock takedowns or trips.

His biggest issues while striking are his ability to exchange in the pocket and on the back foot. While grappling, he seems to struggle with strength. Even though he has leverage with his size, he seems to get bullied against stronger opponents.

In short, Patterson’s offensive striking, in the right stylistic fight, can look clean while his submission game, if he can get the fight down, is sneaky. But, until he shows an ability to not get bullied or outworked, it’s difficult to trust him.


If Lainesse goes back to his roots and uses his strength and size to pressure forward, he should be able to bulldoze the defensively porous Patterson. However, Lainesse’s propensity for clinch fighting and range striking plays right into Patterson’s strengths.

While Lainesse will be the stronger man in the clinch, Patterson will be more technical. At range, Patterson’s footwork and varied attacks should be enough to overwhelm Lainesse’s strategy of basic overhand rights.

I like Patterson to take a step forward following his debut loss. I expect him to stick’n move his way to a decision win but a submission sprinkle is interesting too, considering much of the fight might take place against the cage.

Best Bet: Patterson to win (+120) – bet now at MyBookie

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