Worthy vs Mullarkey
Khama Worthy (16-7-0) vs Jamie Mullarkey (12-4-0)
Two lightweights square off to get the main card started Saturday Night. Both men are coming off of losses last year and will be looking to right the ship.
Worthy burst onto the UFC scene scoring monster upsets over Devonte Smith and Luis Pena. He failed to go 3 for 3 in the UFC underdog role, getting finished by Ottman Azaitar in his last outing by knockout.
Mullarkey is stepping into the UFC octagon for the third time. His first two appearances didn’t go as planned, losing unanimous decisions to Fares Ziam and Brad Riddell.
Underdog No More
Khama “The Deathstar” Worthy opened as the favorite in this one for the first time in his UFC career. The Pittsburgh native seems to have a kill or be killed type of fight style as only 4 of his pro fights have gone to the judges. He’s knocked out 9 opponents and has also been on the receiving end of the KO 6 times. This could be largely due to his striking style. He typically plants his feet and elects to feint or use head movement as his main form of striking defense. It allows him to get off with power while lulling his opponents into his range. Can be effective to induce wild exchanges but it also creates a more stationary target for his opponents.
Jamie Mullarkey Looks to Avoid a 3 Fight Losing Streak
The Australian fighter is coming off of a loss to Fares Ziam in October but to be fair, nearly every media outlet scored the fight in favor of Mullarkey. He’s a tough fighter who marches forward and throws a few strikes with the intent on closing the distance. Once inside, he’ll grind his way to score some takedowns, racking up top control time. The lateral movement of Ziam did give Mullarkey fits for large segments of the bout, but he still managed to succeed in getting the fight to the mat several times.
Both men always take the center of the octagon so this should be interesting. If Mullarkey stays in the pocket too long he’s at serious risk of getting put to sleep. I just can’t see him putting himself at risk like that. A third consecutive UFC loss usually means getting a pink slip when you aren’t a ranked fighter so Mullarkey would be wise to go to his bread and butter immediately. As mentioned, Khama’s stationary footwork will make it easy for Mullarkey to rush inside and lock up a single leg. He’s still a good way from the edge of the cage but with Khama’s weight fully planted, I see him being successful in getting this fight to the canvas. If not, Mullarkey has shown a lot of persistence in grinding the fighter against the cage and dragging things to the mat. Worthy is athletic as hell, with a serious guillotine choke so Mullarkey will need to avoid that on his way in. Given the fact Mullarkey has never been submitted and Worthy’s take-down defense sits at 57%, we are backing the Australian to get enough top control time to sway the judges.
WINNER: JAMIE MULLARKEY