UFC Vegas 85 brings an exhilarating welterweight fight between Randy Brown and Muslim Salikhov. Set for February 3 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, this event has become even more intriguing with recent lineup changes, including the withdrawal of fighters Nate Maness, Kiefer Crosbie, and William Gomis due to injuries.
Changes to the UFC Vegas 85 event have been significant. The withdrawals of Nate Maness, Kiefer Crosbie, and William Gomis due to injuries have reshaped the lineup, drawing more attention to the Randy Brown vs. Muslim Salikhov bout. These alterations are a reminder of the unpredictability and dynamic nature of MMA fight cards.
Since joining the UFC in 2016, Randy “Rude Boy” Brown has shown flashes of potential but has also struggled with consistency. Now 33 years old, he has a record of 17-5, with five finish wins. However, his journey has been marred by four losses by finish, reflecting a career that has oscillated between triumph and setback.
Muslim Salikhov, known as the “King of Kung Fu,” joined the UFC in 2017. At 39, he has a UFC record of 6-3, marked by three knockout victories. Salikhov’s fighting style is influenced by his kung fu background, bringing a unique approach to the octagon that combines traditional martial arts techniques with modern MMA strategies.
Randy Brown excels in striking, particularly when utilizing his reach to maintain distance. His agility and power make him a threat at range, but he often undercuts his advantages by engaging in close-quarter combat.
Brown’s clinch game is a key aspect of his strategy, using his height to gain leverage, alongside effective elbows and knees. Yet, his tendency to enter the clinch can sometimes lead to him being taken down, a vulnerability he needs to address.
Despite his wrestling prowess, Muslim Salikhov often prioritizes striking, especially high-energy, spinning attacks. This approach, while visually impressive, can leave him exposed and drain his stamina. Salikhov’s ability to mix wrestling and striking could be key, particularly if he focuses on strategic, composed stand-up fighting and opportunistic counter-attacks.
Randy Brown’s main obstacle has been his defensive strategy. While he is a potent offensive fighter, his defensive lapses, particularly in the pocket, have led to defeats. Improving his defensive game, especially in close exchanges, could be crucial for his success against a fighter like Salikhov.
Muslim Salikhov’s fight strategy often leans towards the dramatic, with a preference for high-risk moves. This approach has sometimes backfired, leaving him vulnerable to counter-attacks. As he ages, adapting his style to focus more on strategic fighting than on explosive, showy techniques could be beneficial.
The fight is expected to be a close contest, likely going the distance. Brown’s ability to utilize his clinch game effectively against Salikhov’s wrestling and ground control will be key. Both fighters have their strengths and weaknesses, but the fight may ultimately be decided by who can better exploit their opponent’s vulnerabilities.
Age and experience play critical roles in a fighter’s approach and performance. Brown, at 33, still has the agility and speed to execute his game plan effectively. In contrast, at 39, Salikhov must contend with the natural decline in speed and stamina, necessitating a more strategic approach to conserve energy and maximize impact.