UFC Las Vegas emanates out of The Theater at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas. The event will be headlined by the bantamweight clash between former champion Petr Yan and Merab Dvalishvili. Just before the main card, Raphael Assuncao vs Davey Grant marks the penultimate bout on the preliminary card.
Both Grant and Assuncao are veterans of the sport as well as the UFC. At 40, Raphael Assuncao (28-9) is the older of the two and during his career, he has fought the who’s who of the bantamweight division. He is coming off a stellar performance against Victor Henry at UFC Fight Night 212.
“The plan is to start a gym here shortly, regardless of if I’m going to stop after this fight or not."— UFC News (@UFCNews) March 9, 2023
Raphael Assunção (@RaphaAssuncao) has his sights set on his next chapter ⤵️ #UFCLasVegashttps://t.co/9TEFV2PaJT
Most impressively, Assuncao holds wins over former champ TJ Dillashaw and current UFC bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling. However, Raphael recently went on a 3-fight losing streak where he got KO’d twice, and in the UFC that is akin to a death sentence.
Davey Grant (14-6), Assuncao’s UFC Las Vegas opponent, is one of the finalists from the 18th season of The Ultimate Fighter. Despite losing the final to Chris Holdsworth, the Brit became a UFC fighter, getting his first win over Marlon “Chito” Vera at UFC Fight Night: Silva vs Bisping.
Grant’s career has seen a fair few ups and downs since that start. He is 1-2 in his last three fights, losing a rematch to Chito and then a close bout against Adrian Yanez, both by decision. However, Grant found his way back to the win column with a 3rd round KO of Louis Smolka.
Assuncao vs Grant: head-to-head stats
|Stats||Raphael Assuncao||Davey Grant|
|Height||165 cm||173 cm|
|Reach||169 cm||175 cm|
Raphael Assuncao vs Davey Grant: Prediction and fight breakdown
Both Raphael Assuncao and Davey Grant have diverse arsenals that they employ come fight night. Grant is surely the more powerful striker of the two as evidenced by Davey’s 4 KO wins to Raphael’s two. However, Grant does get sloppy at times, and the technical Assuncao may be able to exploit this using his own striking.
When it comes to grappling, the two are on somewhat equal footing. The Brazilian bantamweight has 10 submission victories to Grant’s 8. However, Raphael also has the ability to wear out his opponents during grappling exchanges, eventually edging them out.
Assuncao vs. Grant pic.twitter.com/iTpeiSHxDx— MMA Mania (@mmamania) March 10, 2023
However, despite his great showing against Henry, Assuncao is 40 and his chin has been compromised at times. With Grant’s power and reach advantage, he should be able to find the Brazilian’s chin, and when he does, it’s lights out.
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