Discover more from Stacked Landing
UFC Orlando (UFC On ESPN 42) Nicolau Vs Schnell Breakdown (PREVIEW)
A preview of my in-depth breakdown that will be coming out Thursday. Based off of how much the betting lines move now since Stake/DK/Etc have entered the game, I think earlier the better for the info.
Matheus Nicolau and Matt Schnell were both pushed up the rankings quickly back in 2017-2018, when the division was as thin as could be. They even cut Nicolau himself after going 3-1 and only losing to Dustin Ortiz in 2018. Since then, both have been able to get back on track. Schnell had struggled with bad weight cuts, injuries, etc. from 2020 to 2022, but corrected course this year. With Schnell having made weight two fights in a row, without looking like totally being on death’s door both times, I think he’s gotten over that hump in his career. Most recently, Schnell beat Su Mudaerji in an extremely fun fight that included a round-of-the-year contender. Nicolau had faced “minor-league,” level competition for two fights in 2019 before coming back to Kape and Elliott in 2021. The long time between fights for Schnell, as well as being able to train less opponent-specific for Nicolau, means both worked on their overall game. Their two most recent fights have shown a lot of interesting ways their strengths and weaknesses align, likely contributing to the line movement for Nicolau. A summary of each fighter will bring some of this to light, and I’ll speculate on what we could see play out on December 3rd.
Nicolau has exhibited some very strong abilities in all of his fights
Fight IQ and Discipline: From the Kape fight through Dvorak fight, Nicolau hasn't extended past working his jab and leg kicks unless he needs to. Even when finding success in brawls or pocket exchanges, the risk is much less when sticking to the at-distance success. Works well for someone so naturally long and strong as Nicolau.
Power Shots That Compliment The Core Strikes: With Nicolau's jab/stiff lead straight baiting the guard high and out front, and the leg kicks baiting the defense low, the hooks, knees, and power straights he throws force you to have a high defensive IQ or eventually succumb to how diverse his strikes are.
Strong Gas Tank: The ability to push a pace can make up for a lot of technical deficiencies, and Nicolau uses it to have his "conservative," strategy often do significant damage. If you are landing shots that do 20-25% the damage of a power shot, but land 6 or 7 while limiting your risk, that's +EV.
Sharp Grappling: You would expect someone from Maia'a grappling gym to have sharp and disciplined BJJ, and Nicolau does not disappoint. In the Elliott fight, both times Elliott went for risky position changes, Nicolau swept him to end up in the dominant spot. Dvorak got controlled all 3 times they went to the mat as well. While not a submission snatcher like Ryan Hall, Nicolau has smothering grappling.
Thanks for reading Stacked Landing! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.