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 wouldn’t have been a complete 2020 if we didn’t have a Prelim Breakout Star pulled at the last second. So while he didn’t get to see Jimmy Flick prove what he can do last week, we’re hoping our pick for this week makes his way to the octagon come Saturday.
Nickname – Polar Bear
Affiliation – Polar Bear Team and Xtreme Couture
From – Chisinau, Moldova
Height – 6’3″
Weight – 240 lbs (Heavyweight)
Record – 11-2 (2-2 UFC)
What makes him impressive
One of the things you have to love about any heavyweight as young as Spivak (he’ll turn 26 in January), is the level of improvements you see each time out. With Spivak, those improvements most notably have come in the work he does against the cage. Not only has he made strides in his ability to finish a takedown there (both with trips and a double), but he also has added in a nice elbow on the separation when he’s bailing on the grappling. This works two-fold in that it does some solid damage and also wears out his opponents, who tend to have worse cardio than he does.
Why he has been overlooked
Spivak is only 2-2 in the UFC and has alternated wins and losses in his career. That isn’t exactly a recipe for gaining loads of followers. However, it’s worth noting that the losses came to #11 Walt Harris and divisional stalwart Marcin Tybura. Being that he was competitive with the latter, and continues to get better, there is reason to still feel excited about the Ukrainian born prospect.
What makes this a good match-up
Jared Vanderaa has a pretty standard looking regional MMA record for a heavyweight. He has loads of finishes and the vast majority of them come in the first and early second rounds. However, in the fights he has been taken deep in, Vanderaa’s pace and power is significantly impacted. Fighting a guy like Spivak who is has the ability to zap his opponent’s energy with cage control, and is quite durable, is a nightmare for Vanderaa. He’s need to work quickly off the cage and look for the finish if he is to walk away victorious, but that seems like a big ask in this fight.
Prelim Breakout Star Record: 210-93-1 (2 NC) (11 DNF)
(The MMA Manifesto is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com)