Fight Island 2’s co-main event promises to be the classic tale of grappling versus striking. The fight should be one of the highlights on a card that’s going to have trouble keeping up with the thrills of last weekend’s UFC 251.
Veteran Tim Elliott (16-11-1), ranked 13 in the Flyweight division, will be facing off against Ryan “Baby Face” Benoit (10-6).
Elliott, coming off a three-loss streak since October of last year, will likely be looking to use his grappling skills to control the fight and outlast Benoit. The stakes are less dire for Benoit, who is only on a one-loss streak. Look for him to fight aggressively – using his small stature and lanky arms to score one of the knockouts he’s known for.
Statistically, the two are in a similar place when it comes to significant strikes. Where they diverge is in Benoit’s insane 80% knockout rate in the win column. The counter to that? Elliott has never been knocked out.
When it comes to ground game, the two are much less evenly matched. Elliott makes consistent takedown attempts with decent odds of landing them. Benoit, on the other hand, has only achieved about 3 takedowns across his 16-fight UFC career.
If this fight goes the distance, which Elliott will likely be aiming for, it will almost certainly be his decision. Look for Benoit to stop that from happening with some devastating strikes.
The odds currently have Elliott (-126) a slight favorite over Benoit (+108). With a four-loss skid on the horizon, I’m expecting Elliott isn’t going to let Vegas down.