It might be Thanksgiving week here in the United States, but in Canada, it’s just another fight week. So as most of the American promotions take the week off for the holiday, Canada’s Score Fighting Series is still in full swing as it hosts its seventh event from Hamilton, Ontario on Friday, Nov. 23.
The night’s main event pits grizzled veteran Forrest “The Meat Cleaver” Petz against the appropriately nicknamed Jordan “Young Gun” Mein. The two welterweights will be featured live on AXS TV.
Petz, 37, enters the contest riding a four-fight winning streak after an ill-fated second stint with the UFC. The Ohio native has stopped his last three opponents with strikes, including his Score debut in March against Sergej Juskevic.
For the young Canadian Mein, the fight could be a turning point. Originally, the 23-year-old was on loan from Strikeforce for the bout, but with the promotion’s doors expected to close in January, an impressive performance against Petz could earn him a shot in the UFC.
Let’s take a deeper look at the match-up. And as a reminder, this is a side-by-side comparison of how the fighters’ skills matchup against one another using similar scoring to the unified rules.
With a combined 50 wins—split evenly—these two have plenty of experience, and they both prefer to do damage with their strikes. The 25 combined victories by way of (T)KO are evidence of that. Another key element to the fight is that in a total of 77 fights, each has only been stopped once due to strikes. And because of that, it’s likely this fight will see its fair share of stand-up.
Mein’s recent run in Strikeforce has been a showcase of his striking talents. In his last outing against fellow striker Tyler Stinson, he used his jab with precision and volume to batter Stinson’s right eye into a grotesque mess. He also finished cagey veteran Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos with a flurry of elbows in his promotional debut. Mein is very comfortable on the feet, has solid footwork and mixes his strikes well.
Petz isn’t as flashy as his Canadian opponent, employing a much more workmanlike approach to fighting. However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the ability to finish off his opponents with his heavy hands. With 12 wins by (T)KO on his resume, the UFC veteran has scored five of his last eight wins by stoppage.
While the striking game is a strength of both fighters, the same cannot be said of their submission skills. Both fighters have scored their share of tapouts (seven for Mein, five for Petz), but what is a bigger concern is that they each have lost four times by submission. Don’t expect either fighter to rely heavily on their ground game in this fight.
Mein’s striking pedigree is clearly evident when the fight hits the mat. He wants to get back to his feet, not look for a submission. Despite having more than 20 fights in the last five years, he’s won by submission just three times. But, on the bright side, he’s also lost only once—by kimura—in that same timeframe. As he has matured as a fighter, he’s learned that playing the grappling game hasn’t led to success and his record shows it.
Meanwhile, it’s hard to knock Petz’s submission losses. All four have come against UFC veterans such as Josh Neer, Marcus Davis and T.J. Grant. Like Mein, it has been quite some time since he looked to attack on the mat, going seven years since his last win by submission.
Mein’s kickboxing background has served him well thus far in his career, but he’s looked like a fish out of water against fighters with a wrestling background. Luckily for the Canadian, Petz isn’t Tyron Woodley or Jason High. Mein has shown good scrambling ability against fighters who lack a strong wrestling base, but really struggled to find his feet against the aforementioned Woodley and High.
If one of these two were to shoot for a takedown, it would be Petz. Although he doesn’t have the wrestling credentials of some of his Strong Style teammates, he’s been in the fight game for more than a decade and his clinch game and top control are both better than Mein’s. If he’s getting the worse of the exchanges on the feet, expect Petz to bring the fight to ground and neutralize Mein’s attack.
Although both fighters have roughly the same amount of fights, the age and experience discrepancy is huge in this fight. Will the 14-year age differential give Mein an edge? Or will Petz’s additional five years competing in the sport—including multiple stints in the UFC—help him spoil the Canadian’s return to home soil?
Verdict: Both fighters are durable and willing to trade, which should make for an exciting fight for the fans. While Petz has faced stiffer competition over the course of his career, he’s never been able to succeed at the highest level. Look for Mein to score repeatedly with a variety of strikes en route to unanimous decision victory.
Top Photo: Jordan Mein (Phil Lambert/The MMA Corner)