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Preview: UFC Fight Night 221 Prelims

Williams vs. Brzeski


The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday will remain in Las Vegas for its post-UFC 285 hangover, and UFC Fight Night 221 comes with a solid set of prelims attached. The UFC’s bantamweight division is the gift that keeps on giving, and that continues here, as the three highlights of this slate come at 135 pounds. Divisional stalwart Raphael Assuncao takes on Davey Grant and surging prospect Mario Bautista looks to take out Guido Cannetti while Victor Henry and Tony Gravely each look to rebound from tough losses. Beyond that is an interesting clash between flyweights Ariane Lipski and J.J. Aldrich, plus another steady vet in Tyson Nam taking on Bruno Silva. Add in the debut of an intriguing prospect in Sedriques Dumas, and there is a lot to like about this batch of bouts. Naturally, the least interesting pairing of the bunch—Karl Williams vs. Lukasz Brzeski—gets the featured slot seemingly because it showcases heavyweights.

Now to the preview for the UFC Fight Night 221 “Yan vs. Dvalishvili” prelims:

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Heavyweights

Karl Williams (7-1, 0-0 UFC) vs. Lukasz Brzeski (8-2-1, 0-1 UFC)

ODDS: Williams (-200), Brzeski (+170)

The heavyweight division continues to sort itself out as prospects square off here. Brzeski is an interesting talent to track, even if it feels like “The Bull” is still somehow a bit less than the sum of his parts. He is tall, a solid athlete and seems able to handle himself anywhere, but the Pole has a surprising lack of clean and easy wins on his resume. Brzeski usually starts off well enough—until things become a bit of a struggle, at which point he usually manages to outlast his opponent and sometimes find a late finish. Obviously, there is a worry that approach might not work at the UFC level. He probably deserved to win his UFC debut over Martin Buday, but the latter’s forward pressure was enough to earn a narrow win on the scorecards. Brzeski looks for his first UFC win against a promotional newcomer in Williams, who earned a contract via Dana White’s Contender Series in September. Williams’ win on the show was not particularly impressive in a vacuum as he took the decision in an ugly grind, but the context is what made it stand out. Essentially a career light heavyweight, Williams stepped in on days’ notice and outwrestled a collegiate wrestling standout and much better-regarded prospect in Jimmy Lawson. That is really the only trustworthy part of Williams’ game at the moment, but it is still an impressive feather in his cap; and in a heavyweight division where most fighters do not really wrestle, Williams may be able to make some headway fighting against the grain. This matchup almost entirely centers around Williams’ ability to turn this into one of those grinds, as otherwise, Brzeski is the much more potent striker and sets a much higher pace. The Pole does not stand out as a particularly stout wrestler, so the UFC newcomer gets the nod in what is essentially a coinflip. The pick is Williams via decision.



Jump To »
Williams vs. Brzeski
Grant vs. Assuncao
Dumas vs. Fremd
Bautista vs. Cannetti
Aldrich vs. Lipski
Henry vs. Gravely
Silva vs. Nam
Harris vs. Gooden

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