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This Saturday night in Denver, Colorado, a pair of featherweights will face off in the octagon during the prelims of UFC FIght Night 139. Chas Skelly will finally return to action after dropping a brutal fight to Jason Knight and sitting out for over a year and a half. This will be Bobby Moffet’s UFC debut. He was last seen on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series where he impressively submitted Jacob Kilburn in the second round. Saturday’s fight will either end in a triumphant return of a proven veteran or signify a changing of the guard in the featherweight division.
Chas Skelly returns at long last
After over a year and a half on the sidelines, one of the UFC’s most exciting featherweights is finally back. After losing by TKO to Jason Knight in May of 2017, Chas Skelly (17-3) received a 180-day medical suspension and he is forced to come back against a very highly thought of prospect. Whether you believe ring rust is a real thing or not, that is not an easy way to return to competition. Still, Skelly is dangerous every time he steps in the cage as evidence by his heavyweight-like 76 percent finish rate in his wins.
Many raise questions regarding the cardio of Chas Skelly. He was absolutely exhausted by the end of the Knight fight when he was finished and gassed out in the Darren Elkins fight. Either Skelly has questionable cardio, or these gas-outs were simply circumstantial. For one, nearly everyone gasses out against Darren Elkins because of his ridiculous cardio and zombie-like pressure. Another thing to consider is the pace of the Jason Knight fight. Skelly and Knight went at it like a pair of maniacs and essentially went on a 10 minute sprint. If Skelly fights Moffett like that, he is in big trouble. He needs to trust his experience and patiently pick apart his opponent. If Skelly genuinely does have endurance issues, a fight at altitude with an endurance machine like Moffett is no easy task.
Chas Skelly is an explosive and dangerous striker that will likely have the advantage on the feet as long as he remains patient and does not try to rush a finish. Moffett is an excellent grappler but the scrambling and wrestling of Skelly is hard to top. The former NAIA All-American wrestler, Skelly, should be able to control where this fight takes place. He is obviously no slouch on the ground with 10 submission wins on his record, but if he can piece up Moffett on the feet for three rounds, he should do everything in his power to keep the fight there.
A handful of a debut for Bobby Moffett
Bobby Moffett is entering the UFC after winning his contract on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and he is being thrown right into the thick of things. Moffett has finished his last two fights by Brabo choke and predicted that he would finish Skelly in the second round by D’arce, so we have a fair idea of where this newcomer wants the fight. Going to the ground with Skelly could get him the win, but Moffett needs to be patient and land a clean takedown. If there is a scramble, there is a great chance that Skelly ends up on top and Moffett ends up in trouble. If Moffett get top position though, he will be able to pour on the pressure and seriously test the cardio of the veteran.
We know for sure that there are no problems with the cardio of Bobby Moffett. He is a pressure fighter and will be able to keep up with any high-paced striking that Skelly presents. That does not mean however, that he should engage in that type of fire fight. In a UFC debut, we sometimes see fighters get sucked into a brawl and put themselves in danger. Moffett, who has never fought someone at the level of Chas Skelly, needs to stick to what he does best and get this fight to the ground.
Taking down Skelly once he is tired has not been an issue for fighters like Knight and Elkins. Moffett needs to keep the pressure on and persist even if all of his attempts get stuffed in the first round. Each time Skelly is forced to fight off a takedown attempt, he will lose a bit of energy and his gas tank will be tested. If Bobby Moffett can keep his patience in his debut, the longer the fight goes, the better his chances of coming out with the win become.
Chas Skelly is the more proven fighter coming into this one. He has only lost to Jason Knight, Darren Elkins, and Mirsad Bektic, all of whom are incredible fighters. Being more proven does not always matter but the tools Skelly possesses such as electric striking and top-notch grappling do matter. There is nowhere that Moffett can blow through Skelly. He is used to being able to dominate fighters on the ground and that will simply not happen against Chas Skelly unless he can tire him out late in the fight.
Pick: Chas Skelly -102
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