UFC on ESPN+ 60: Rodrigues vs Petrosyan - Predictions - 2/26/22
Gregory Rodrigues vs Armen Petrosyan
Gregory Rodrigues (11-3) went 7-2 in the minor leagues before getting a call to be on The Contender Series back in 2020. Unfortunately for “Robocop”, he would end up getting knocked out by Jordan Williams. Undeterred, the Brazilian would score two straight knockouts in LFA, which would erase the Contender Series loss and get him a contract. He’s fought twice under the UFC banner and made good on both appearances by defeating Duško Todorović by decision and Jun Yong Park by TKO.
Armen Petrosyan (6-1) scored KO/TKO victories over his first 4 opponents of his career. “Superman” would suffer the same fate to Hasan Yousefi in his 5th pro fight as he got finished in round 1. It did not take him long to get back on track during his next fight as the Armenian would knock out his opponent in just 15 seconds. Much like Rodrigues, Petrosyan would go the Contender Series route as well. He wouldn’t need the LFA detour afterward however because he impressed Dana and co enough with a beauty head kick TKO to get a contract. This will be Petrosyan’s UFC debut.
Both comic heroes will have identical height but “Robocop” will have a 4 inch reach advantage over “Superman”. I hope your edibles just kicked in before reading that.
How They Match Up
We learned a lot about Rodrigues in his last fight with Park. He dominated on the mat and got it there in a variety of different ways (including one beautiful judo throw). We also saw that he has a chin but his striking defense was dreadful. Head straight up in the air getting blasted and nearly finished a couple times. His gas tank was also atrocious as he was completely gassed in round 2. But in his defense, he showed some real resiliency coming back from some dicey moments to get the KO finish.
Petrosyan is a technically sound kickboxer who also overcame some adversity last time out. Although that adversity was pretty mild as it mainly involved being held against the cage for extended periods but nevertheless. He did show how dangerous he is given some time and space. I also liked how he was able to throw some head kicks without a lot of time and space so he was a striking threat at all ranges. His takedown defense did not look great however so he’ll want this one to stay on the feet.
Very interesting fight since both guys have the strengths to capitalize on their opponent’s weaknesses. I’d really like Rodrigues’ strengths vs Petrosyan’s weaknesses a lot more if he’d just tunnel vision that route. The fact that Rodrigues kept striking even when he was getting battered AND already demonstrated to be superior on the ground is a red flag for me in the fight IQ department. He certainly has the power to score a TKO finish of his own but I think Petrosyan is going to find his stationary head pretty often and probably early. The longer the fight goes the more it will favor Petrosyan as well so I gotta take him. But I can’t stress this enough, Rodrigues can easily win this fight if he’d just grapple Petrosyan full time. It’s very possible he just didn’t respect Park’s striking last time out which is why he boxed so much with him. Nevertheless, I have a slight lean towards Petrosyan.