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 to the most talented fighter on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.
It seems like it has been forever since a UFC event. A decade ago we would bat an eyelash at a 2-week break. However, UFC in Washington DC looks to save us from our new longing and with a sneakily packed card.
Nickname – Thug Nasty
Affiliation – Barata MMA
From – Cabot, Arkansas
Height – 5’9″
Weight – 145 lbs (Featherweight)
Record – 11-0 (2-0 UFC)
What makes him impressive
If you love high action grappling, you’re in for a treat. Not only is Bryce Mitchell an entertaining presence on the microphone, but he’s equally as entertaining on the mat. This isn’t necessarily due to dominance in the wrestling department – in fact he’s only stuffed 33% of takedowns – but due to what happens when it gets there. Despite surrendering five takedowns against Bobby Moffett, a hell of a submission grappler in his own right, Mitchell consistently outworked Moffett with sweeps and submission attempts. His grittiness and creativity on the mat earned him a unanimous decision despite never landing a takedown of his own.
Why he has been overlooked
I’ve always felt that Ultimate Fighter castoffs have had a much harder time making a name for themselves than the winners. Look at the relative success of Michael Johnson. He has wins over Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson, and nearly defeated Justin Gaethje, yet most people see him nothing more than a journeyman. Mitchell didn’t even make it to the finals as Johnson did, as he was beaten by Brad Katona in the semifinals. He’s doing a good job making a name for himself with a unique brand of post-fight speech, but it will likely take a long line of winning in order to shake it completely.
What makes this a good match-up
Matt Sayles is no stranger to grappling in the octagon. He shot four takedown attempts in his first bout and won his second by arm triangle. However, in that victory, he also relied on countering his opponent and getting a submission after a sweep. It seems unlikely that he’ll be able to beat Moffett at his own game, but it will certainly be interesting to see him try to do so.
Prelim Breakout Star Record: 188-79-1 (2 NC) (7 DNF)
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