Josh Grispi seeks to reclaim the buzz surrounding him prior to UFC 125. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
George Roop vs. Josh Grispi
The Matchup: Just 22, Grispi’s ascent in the final stretch run of the WEC was breathtaking. In reeling off four impressive wins, Grispi had secured a title shot with champion Jose Aldo in January, only to see the Brazilian pull out due to injury. Grispi then suffered a one-sided decision loss to replacement Dustin Poirier. Grispi did not seem himself in that fight, and was unable to get off in virtually all phases of his normally potent game.
In facing Roop, he takes on an exceptionally tall fighter for the weight class -- 6-foot-1 -- but he is likely to be the stronger guy wherever the bout goes. This is basically Grispi’s fight to lose, since Roop has little wrestling and tends to trade, especially for opponents that nail him first and force exchanges.
Roop is definitely a gamer, but he looks to be largely outclassed here. Grispi should be able to find a comfortable groove on the feet. At some point, expect him to drop Roop to the mat or take him down.
The Pick: Grispi remains an exceptionally talented young fighter, and matches like this are where one rebuilds a reputation. He will do just that, winning the exchanges and muscling Roop on the mat en route to a second-round submission.
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