Preview: Bellator 235 ‘Barnett vs. Markes’

Perez vs. Misech

By Keith Shillan Dec 20, 2019

Erik Perez vs. Toby Misech

Perez enters his Bellator debut having been victorious in his last five appearances. The UFC veteran got his hand raised in both of his last two contests in the organization, and instead of re-signing with the promotion he took his talents to Combate Americas, where he went 2-0 with two stoppages. The Mexican fighter appears to be coming into his own at 30 years old. The Alliance MMA product is a well-rounded fighter. On the feet, he is a fluid striker with considerable aggression and nice sting in his shots. He does a good job of slipping punches and firing back with deadly shots, but he tends to drop his hands and keep his chin high, leaving him open to being clocked. The UFC veteran throws hard kicks and does well at checking his opponent’s chin with when the opening presents itself. Though he has good kicks, he doesn’t bother to check leg kicks thrown at him. He likes to lead the dance on the feet, whether striking from the outside or landing in the clinch, and he doesn’t like it when he is pressed to fight off his back foot. He hasn’t used it in his last two bouts, but he does have good entries on his drop step takedown attempts. He will also look to catch a kick to land on top. “Goyito” will look to advance to dominant positions on the ground, where he dispatches hard ground and pound. The veteran fighter can be a bit overconfident on top, leaving him open to losing position. He has been taken down in the past but showed great flexibility to attack with submissions and is quick to wall walk back to his feet.

Misech enters his second bout in the Bellator cage having failed to get his hand raised in his last two scraps. He fell short against Ricky Palacios in his Dana White Contender Series appearance and then fell to former bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas in his promotional debut. The Hawaiian is a southpaw with crisp striking. He has professional kickboxing experience and possesses quick and accurate hands. His overhand left is his best strike. “2 Quick” is a slip and rip counterstriker who loves to work the body with hard hooks. The former Alaska FC champion has a large arsenal of kicks and does well to mix them in with his punches. His biggest flaw on the feet is that he can tend to fight at a slow pace, looking to land a single fight-ending strike instead of firing off combinations. The Hawaiian has good timing on his double leg takedown and has strong top control with ground and pound. The 31-year-old is a bad defensive wrestler, however, and struggles to work back to his feet. In fact, his loss to Dantas was attributable to his poor defensive wrestling.

This will be a really fun matchup if both fighters decide to exchange on the feet. The home state fighter will have the advantage in striking technique and speed but falls behind in the power department. The Mexican could hold his own in the striking department but would be wise to use his superior wrestling. I expect him to go the safe route and wrestle himself to a decision win. Perez wins via unanimous decision.

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