Algeo is a World Series of Fighting veteran and former Ring of Combat featherweight champion. He has compiled a 12-3 professional record, with two of his losses coming to current UFC fighters in Shane Burgos and Jared Gordon. He enters the competition on a four-fight winning streak. Algeo is a tall and lengthy featherweight who has professional muay Thai experience. The Pennsylvania resident keeps his hands low and relies too much on head movement, even though he is a crisp striker. He has quick hands and constantly ends combinations with kicks. He has nice torque on his head kicks. The 30-year-old uses heavy pressure and loves highly entertaining strikes like flying knees. “Senor Perfecto” is solid in the clinch, where he can batter opponents to the body, but is a weak defensive wrestler. He often allows himself to be taken down while fishing for techniques like kimuras. Algeo loves to throw his opponent with a head-and-arm triangle, a tendency which could expose his back against a good grappler. Algeo is a strong grappler himself, though. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt is wiry and uses his long legs to lock in triangles and omoplatas or to create enough space to get to his feet. He runs his own gym in Pennsylvania, which makes me wonder how much attention he gives himself while running a business?
Loughnane is a veteran of “The Ultimate Fighter,” the UFC, Absolute Championship Berkut and the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts. The interim Celtic Gladiator champion had a single cup of coffee in the UFC and lost to Mike Wilkinson -- a defeat he avenged five years later. The Englishman flaunts a 16-3 record, but his loss to Tom Duquesnoy remains one of the more glaring robberies in recent history. He might be best known for breaking his arm in a fight and still finding a way to win by knockout. Loughnane is a savvy striker who has crafted his skills with the help of Phuket Top Team. The 29-year-old uses movement and stance switches to confuse his opponents. He excels at slipping punches and countering with powerful blows. His straight right hand is his most dangerous weapon. The veteran has a large arsenal of kicks and loves spinning attacks. While striking remains his bread and butter, Loughnan is also solid wrestler. He will throw in a takedown to mix up his striking attacks or find one inside the clinch.
The matchup between these two fighters is difficult to pick. I am impressed by both men and believe both should already be under contract with the UFC. I have flipflopped on who I am picking to win because this might be the most intriguing bout of the entire season. Loughnane may struggle to keep up with Algeo’s pace. The Englishman’s last lost came to Pat Healy when he started to slow down in the latter portion of the fight due to Healy’s relentless pressure. However, Healy used a wrestling-centric game. With Algeo’s tendency to give up takedowns and Loughnane’s willingness to grind with wrestling, I could see that scenario playing out. However, my deciding factor is that Loughnane has fought in the UFC before and should be able to use his experience to ward off any Octagon jitters. I think the winner will deserve a contract with the UFC, but due to the competitive nature of the fight, it could be difficult for either man to stand out. Loughnane by unanimous decision is the pick.
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