On the UFC 161 prelim card, superb striker Edwin “El Feroz” Figueroa, will face off against submission artist Roland Delorme, in Delorme’s hometown of Winnepeg. “El Feroz,” which is Spanish for “the Fierce,” has been boxing since age six and has the clear striking advantage in this fight. Delorme has the edge over his opponent in grappling, height, and reach, which will make this one a classic battle between striking and grappling. Many of us may remember Delorme from Team Miller on The Ultimate Fighter, where he was outwrestled in the quarter finals by TJ Dillashaw. He later came back to face Josh Ferguson at The Ultimate Fighter 14 finale, winning with a rear naked choke in the third round.
Statisically, these fighters are fairly even, so it should prove to be a great fight. In Delorme’s last four fights, he has landed 50% of his strikes and 27% of his takedowns. El Feroz has connected with 42% of his strikes, but thrown more than twice as many. His one attempted takedown was a success. Primarily, both of these fighters land most of their attacks from a standing position, with 69% of Delorme’s strikes and 66% of Figueroa’s launched while on their feet. As far as mixing it up, Delorme prefers the clinch while El Feroz likes to knock his opponents down and display his ferocity with fierce ground and pound. From a childhood filled with brutal boxing training, and taking up kickboxing at the age of 14, El Feroz is well equipped for any stand-up bout, expertly avoided 51% of his opponents’ attacks in his last five fights, and defended 44% of their takedowns. Delorme, on the other hand, only managed to avoid 39%, but stuffed half of his adversaries’ takedowns.
While Delorme is coming into this fight after a “no contest”, he won his last two fights and has only suffered one loss (via decision). The rest of his wins were either knockouts or submissions, meaning that there has only been one fighter to go all three rounds with him thus far. Coming off a loss, the fierce Figueroa will certainly be hungry to put his opponent down quickly. No matter what, El Feroz knows how to put on a show, as he demonstrated in one of his two losses by receiving Fight of the Night against Michael McDonald at UFC Fight Night 24.
This is absolutely anyone’s fight, but I don’t believe it will last all three rounds. Bantamweights are known not only for their explosiveness, but for their incredible endurance. Every round of this fight is sure to be filled with explosive strikes and aggressive grappling, with neither of these fighters giving up. Delorme will definitely try and take advantage of his superior submission skills, while Figueroa is sure to try and go for the knockout. There is something to be said about the home court advantage, and with everyone in the arena chanting his name, Delorme is unquestionably going to feel empowered while the crowd will try and make his opponent feel the pressure. That may just be enough to shift the scales in homeboy’s favor.