By: Patrick Courtois
Technician Rory McDonald (17-2), headlines this bout against a surging Tarec Saffeidine (15-3).
As we speak this card is being finalized. But what we do know is that the always controversial and sinister half of Miesha Tate, Bryan “Kid Lightning ” Caraway (19-6-0), will be taping up against Raphael Assuncao (24-4-0).
Yes, the same Bryan Caraway who allegedly elbowed Cat Zingano in the back of the head prior to Cat’s dismantling of Miesha Tate at the Ultimate Fighter 17 finale. Let’s see how bully tactics go over against a formidable Raphael Assuncao.
Ranked # 3 in the division and with the longest win streak, Assuncao is the very same man who dispatched the current Bantamweight belt holder T.J Dillashaw, in very convincing fashion.
Let’s decipher Assuncao’s weaponry. He holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which explains 10 of his 22 wins, by submission. Possesses great take down defense, very effective use of Muay Thai and consistently pushes the pace. Look for him to attempt dictating where the fight goes.
Quite possibly the fiend of this match up, Bryan Caraway is no slouch. His “in”, to the UFC came in 2011 via The Ultimate Fighter; Team Bisping vs. Team Miller. He then went on to some decisive wins in the UFC, while developing an affinity and penchant for all manner of superbly executed rear naked chokes, triangle chokes and guillotine chokes. Dustin Neace succumbed, as did Mitch Gagnon, Johnny Bedford, Erik Perez. The list goes on ad nauseum.
Had Caraway lived in 18th Century France, he would have invented the Guillotine. Perhaps it’s time to lobby for a change in nickname’s to, Bryan “Guillotine” Caraway.
So what does Caraway bring to the table? Superb grappling and wrestling. An above average submission game and endurance.
This match up could be another debate issue over which is the superior art, BJJ or wrestling. Of course there are those that have disparaged BJJ and quickly fallen victim to its practitioners. The same is of course true of those talking smack about wrestling.
Both fighters seem evenly matched. So barring a fish hook and knowing that neither man is known for KO power, expect a clean, very technical, decisive fight.