Regardless of any red opponent Renee Forte may be wearing on Saturday night, fans can expect “The Bull” to come in charging in when their preliminary pairing unfolds on the undercard. Makdessi is a cement-fisted slugger who mixes in spinning techniques and has a durable chin to boot. He’s on a two-fight run but hasn’t scored a knockout since putting Kyle Watson away with a spinning backfist in 2011, so there’s no doubt he’ll be head-hunting come showtime. Thompson’s kickboxing background has provided him with a striking skill-set few Mixed Martial Artists can lay claim to. It hasn’t necessarily transitioned into the sport seamlessly, but Thompson’s ability to deliver blows from a variety of angles makes for a dangerous weapon. Just ask Dan Stittgen, who Thompson laid out with a beautiful head kick, if you need evidence of such. Of course, UFC 165 foe Chris Clements knows how to bang too, making for what should be an excellent effort this weekend in Toronto. Schaub’s bread and butter has been boxing for a long time even if his last effort involved far more takedowns and top control than most folks watching would have liked to witness. “The Hybrid” has knocked out three opponents inside the Octagon including Mirko Filipovic and would no doubt like to add Matt Mitrione’s name to his resume. If he can avoid absorbing any blows given his questionable chin, Schaub could definitely end up delivering the type of finish fans had become accustomed to after his earlier run in the ring. The interim bantamweight champion may have more submissions to his credit than strike-based finishes but anyone who saw him pick apart Urijah Faber to win gold knows Barao is the real deal when it comes to stand-up. He’s fast, picks excellent angles, and packs an arsenal of brutal leg kicks as might be expected from a Nova Uniao fighter. Contender Eddie Wineland is no slouch when it comes to striking either, but the brilliant Brazilian is on a different level entirely. “Bones” doesn’t tend to blast opponents into unconsciousness with single shots but his reach opens up a lot of opportunities to do damage. For example, he can land elbow shots like jabs and standard strikes from outside the range of any adversary he encounters. He’s also a fairly creative striker and likes to incorporate techniques rarely seen based on his athleticism and confidence. Throw in some underrated ground-and-pound brought on by his exceptionally long arms and you’ve got a force worth respecting. Don’t expect Jones to knock Alexander Gustafsson out cold in the main event, but he could very well pepper him with blows to the point the referee steps in regardless of where action takes place.
UFC events are bound to feature at least one scrapper associated specifically with stand-up based on his/her ability being technically sound, unique, powerful, or some combination of the three. However, when it comes to there are a plethora of pugilists who’s striking has been an important component of consistently coming away from fights with a victory in tow. They aren’t all at the top of the card, but at least one is… (Photos by USA Today Sports Images) UFC 165