Kicking off the main card of UFC 273 on Saturday night is an intriguing matchup in the lightweight division. Former Olympic Silver Medalist Mark Madsen (11-0) returns as he will look to remain perfect in MMA as he takes on the tough Vinc Pichel (14-2).
UFC fans were first introduced to Pichel way back in 2012 when he competed on The Ultimate Fighter. He debuted on the TUF finale when he took on Rustam Khabilov. At the time, Pichel was unbeaten, however, he suffered his first loss that night.
Since then, he’s 8-1 in the UFC. That being said, as you can tell, this is only his tenth fight in the last ten years. Now, he has been more active and is entering this contest at UFC 273 on a three-fight winning streak.
Standing across from him will be Mark Madsen. Madsen will be making his fourth appearance inside the octagon. The last time we saw him was at a Fight Night back in August when he edged out Clay Guida by split decision.
UFC 273 Prediction
This fight was originally on the prelims and it was promoted up to the UFC 273 main card after Kelvin Gastelum pulled out of the event. Not sure the fans are going to be getting an insanely exciting fight to kick off the PPV on Saturday night.
The game plan for Madsen is very clear. He’s going to come out strong in the first round looking for takedowns and he’s likely going to get them. Pichel doesn’t have the best takedown defense and we’ve seen that over his past few fights.
I think he makes Madsen work, but Madsen will get him down. The true story of the fight at UFC 273 will be the second and third rounds. If Madsen’s cardio holds up, I can see him dominating all three rounds with his wrestling.
However, if his cardio is an issue, I think Pichel will really press forward with hooks and pressure. Madsen doesn’t have great striking defense and that’s something that Pichel can take advantage of.
Ultimately, I see a lot of chess in this matchup with Madsen getting the better of things. I don’t expect a finish and I’m expecting a grappling heavy decision at UFC 273.
Prediction: Mark Madsen by Unanimous Decision