vs Alex Morono
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 161
Alex Morono is currently 5-2-1 in the UFC and is coming back from a TKO win against Zak Ottow in March 2019. Max Griffin will be back from his win against then-undefeated Russian prospect Zelim Imadaev in April. Morono won his fight in a pretty dominant way when he finish Ottow in the first round. Griffin on the other hand won his last fight thanks to his takedowns and his ground work, however ha was majorly outstruck by the Russian, at least in the department of Significant strikes.
Max Griffin is a pure striker with 7 wins ending by TKO/KO. However his last win by TKO/KO came in November 2016, when he knocked out Erick Montano in 54 seconds in the 1st round. He is a long welterweight (reach is 76 inches long). He does hold back and waits for his opportunity to strike (only in 1 fight he broke a 100 strikes limit). Last fight he won with his takedowns, but without his takedowns he was very uncomfortable with the pressure that Imadaev brought. Last 5 of his 7 UFC fights ended with a 3 round Decision.
Alex Morono is a BJJ black belt and also holds a black belt in Taekwondo. He is a pretty well rounded fighter having 6 wins coming by submission and 5 wins by TKO/KO. Although being labeled as BJJ specialist, he did recently have an outstanding fight against Song Kenan, that was awarded with Fight of the Night bonus. That fight was a pure stand-up war, where both fighters threw more than 360 significant strikes. Morono is durable since 5 out of 8 UFC fights ended up with a decision. Even though being a BJJ specialist, according to stats he attempted only 5 takedowns in the UFC and was not successful in any of them. He does have a solid striking defense with 63 %.
This fight should last at least 2 rounds. Griffin is not pulling a trigger too often and stays on the outside rather than fights in the pocket. Morono does come out in the 1st round and tries to finish the fight quickly (10 of his wins came in the 1st round). Griffin will probably wait and try to counterpunch Morono, whilst Morono will try to pressure and slip Griffin’s punches and catch him with some shots.
Fight will probably not go to the ground. Main thing is that Morono or Griffin just don’t shoot for takedowns. Therefore it is probable that the fight won’t end up by submission. Sure Morono is a BJJ black belt, but in order to end a fight by submission, the fighter must get his opponent down, it is rare to see a submission from standing up. It is also not much likely for the fight to end up by TKO/KO.
Griffin’s style of fighting is using his reach and staying on the outside, outpointing the opponent. Griffin will have a 4-inch reach advantage. Both fighters also landed only once in their UFC careers more than 100 significant strikes. The fight should end after 3 rounds. Neither of them are active wrestlers to take the fight to the ground, both fighters are a pretty good strike defense, they do not absorb many significant strikes per minute.