UFC Ottawa Prelim Breakout Star: Matt Sayles

UFC Ottawa Prelim Breakout Star: Matt Sayles

MMA Manifesto

UFC Ottawa Prelim Breakout Star: Matt Sayles


August 4, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Matt Sayles applies a hold against Sheymon Moreas during UFC 227 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Prelim Breakout Star is a once per event article that helps fans get to know those who will be entertaining them from the undercard. The intention of the article is not to bring attention t the most talented fighter on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.

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Heading in to the UFC’s offering this week in Canada, we take a look at another relative newcomer to the UFC’s roster. Once again, the Contender Series serves as our inspiration for this week’s pick.

Matt Sayles

Nickname – Robo
Affiliation – Alliance MMA
From – San Diego, California
Height – 5’7″
Weight – 145 lbs (Featherweight)
Record – 7-2 (0-1 UFC)


What makes him impressive

Similar to most Alliance MMA fighters, he’s extremely light on his feet and moves constantly. This makes him extremely hard to hit and particularly hard to hold on to. You could see this in a lot of his regional fights and his Contender Series bout. Any time his opponent grabs on to a clinch, he works right out and gets back to doing what he likes best, which is throwing hands.

While Alliance MMA fighters are known for their movement, he also brings a lot of power behind the shots he throws. He has a hard straight right that has put plenty of opponents away.


Why he has been overlooked

In his UFC debut, he was handed the hard task of Sheymon Moraes. Moraes has just three losses in his career: Marlon Moraes, Zabit Magomedsharipov, and Sodiq Yusuff. Although it’s a shame that Sayles couldn’t join that group, there’s no shame in a loss to Moraes, especially in his debut. The step down in competition level for this fight should allow him to show off just how good he is.


What makes this a good match-up

Kyle Nelson is well versed on the ground. The majority of his victories come by way of submission or ground and pound. As mentioned before, this is one of the things that Sayles deals with best. He is hard to get a hold of and even harder to take down. If Nelson isn’t able to wrangle him down to the ground, I have to imagine it’ll be too much for him on the feet and Sayles will pick up the TKO victory.


Prelim Breakout Star Record: 171-72-1 (2 NC) (6 DNF)


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