It may not be getting a ton of attention because of the big pay-per-view events we’ve just had, but there is a UFC Fight Night this weekend, and it has a pretty significant main event. UFC Fight Night 62: Maia vs. LaFlare has former top middleweight contender Demian Maia taking on undefeated badass Ryan LaFlare at welterweight in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And though Maia has had mixed results in the 170-pound division, LaFlare has kept his winning streak alive in all four of his UFC appearances, and a victory here against this tough veteran could mean a title shot looms somewhere on the horizon.
So what’s so special about LaFlare? Well, glad you asked.
- Besides being undefeated, LaFlare is a versatile finisher. Sure, all his bouts in the Octagon have gone to decision, but prior to becoming a UFC fighter, he put everyone he’d faced in the minor leagues away via either submission or a form of knockout. In other words, he knows how to find subs and throw leather.
- He specializes in the trifecta of key MMA skills: kickboxing, jiu-jitsu and wrestling. Watch the following video for proof.
- Though he dominated the regional circuit, LaFlare was on ice for two and a half years nursing injuries. That, coupled with the fact that he’s 31-years old, means LaFlare knows the clock is ticking on his career. If he’s going to make a run at the belt, he knows the time is now – which should give him an edge over someone like Maia, who’s on the downward slope of his career and knows it.
- LaFlare can take a punch – or at least expertly avoid one – as evidenced by his performances against John Howard and Court McGee. This trait should serve him well if and when he stands across the Octagon from Robbie Lawler or Johny Hendricks, the two best in the division.
There you have it – some reasons why LaFlare is a badass and why you should tune into FOX Sports 1 on Saturday night.