Meek has issues with his visa, prompting the UFC to postpone this bout which was originally scheduled for UFC 219 on December 30th, 2017. Initially, it was believed that this welterweight contest was headed to Boston’s UFC 220 on January 20th, 2018 but the UFC finally decided to add it to the Missouri event headlined by Jeremy Stephens and Doo Ho Choi.
Up and Comers Locking Horns
Usman is a perfect 6-0 in UFC competition. He is currently tied with Santiago Ponzinibbio for the longest winning streak in the welterweight division at six. Usman is coming off a first round knockout victory over Sergio Moraes where he called out (but in vain) Rafael Dos Anjos after the fight. Instead of RDA, Usman gets to lock his horns against a fellow up and comer.
Meek defeated Jordan Mein in his UFC debut via unanimous decision at UFC 206. Valhalla has not competed since then. The charismatic Norwegian was booked to fight Nordine Taleb last May but withdrew from the bout because of an injury. Meek has won four fights in a row and is best known for his TKO victory over Rousimar Palhares at Venator FC.
Size Could Be A Factor
Usman is the heavy favorite here at -550 while Meek the underdog at +425. While both are relative newcomers, Usman has already logged in six fights and has won all impressively. Although Usman is known for his striking accuracy and power, he also has a very decent ground game. In fact, he’s already produced 20 takedowns in six UFC bout.
Meek looked sharp against Mein in his UFC debut, landing 96 strikes and surviving three takedown attempts. He probably has more punching power than Usman but the latter has the advantage in size. Usman is a couple of inches taller and two inches longer than Meek so that could play a factor in this bout. In a fight that is expected to be a striking war, size advantage could be a factor.
Another drawback for Meek is that he hasn’t fought opponents in Usman’s level and the fact that he hasn’t fought in a year. Ring rust may become a factor here as the fight goes longer. Regardless of the outcome of this fight, we’re going to learn a lot about what Meek is all about. If we were to pick a winner though, we’re going with more experienced guy here and that’s Usman. We’re picking Usman to win a close decision.