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.
Years ago, Conor McGregor claimed the Irish were not here to take part, they were here to take over. However, here we are just a short while later and there is only Conor left from the country in the UFC. Another hotbed has popped up though, and one that is likely to last quite a bit longer.
Affiliation – Enbo Fight Club
From – Aba, Sichuan, China
Height – 5’8″
Weight – 125 lbs (Flyweight)
Record – 5-2 (0-0 UFC)
What makes him impressive
The most impressive aspect of Mudaerji’s game is his ability to fight long. At 5’8″ and fighting between flyweight and bantamweight, he likely has a reach advantage on the majority of people he might run into. However, length isn’t everything, it’s also how you use it (see Struve, Stefan). Mudaerji uses a jab frequently and is light on his feet, but it is also his use of side kicks that allows him to stay well out of the range of his much shorter opponents. In his last bout, this even frustrated Andre Soukhamthath, who is pretty skilled at getting inside on fighters.
Why he has been overlooked
There is certainly a lot of talent coming out of China, particularly on the women’s side. Weili Zhang, Yan Xiaonan, Yanan Wu, and men like Li Jingliang have a lot of the nation’s spotlight when it comes to MMA. In addition to having a lot of others at the forefront of the country’s influx into the UFC, Mudaerji has been out of commission for nearly a year and a half. Those factors are not particularly good ones when trying to build hype.
What makes this a good match-up
In his UFC debut, Malcolm Gordon tried to get the fight where he likes it best, on the mat. However, he found himself on the wrong side of the strength equation. That led to him being in bad spots and really unable to impose his gameplan. In addition to being a fighter that stays out of the clinch well, Mudaerji is very physically strong. It seems unlikely that Gordon will be close enough to take him down and work his gameplan, but even if he does close the distance, I can’t see it ending well for him.
Prelim Breakout Star Record: 209-93-1 (2 NC) (10 DNF)
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