When UFC Fight Night 76’s lineup was initially announced it was a card that had the potential to be great. But after losing its originally scheduled main and co-main event, the excitement level surrounding this card has taken a major hit.

But even without Joseph Duffy, Dustin Poirier, Ben Rothwell and Stipe Miocic, there is reason to tune in and watch on Saturday. Specifically, fans should be looking forward to seeing the new co-main event between lightweights Reza Madadi and Norman Parke.

After starting his UFC career 4-0-1, The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes Lightweight Winner Parke has dropped back-to-back heartbreaking split decision loses. Parke has shown a lot of promise thus far in his UFC career, but his back is against the wall heading into this bout and that makes him very dangerous.

Madadi on the other hand is a talented lightweight who has largely been forgotten; that happens though when you get arrested and go to jail for over a year. It’s been over two years since Madadi last competed and at 37 years old, time is not on his side. Against a young and desperate fighter like Parke, Madadi is going to have a tough night, but he has the weapons to extend Parke’s losing streak to three.

Attack First

As we’ve seen time and time again, cage rust is very real and it can have a negative impact on a fighter’s performance. Not only is Madadi coming off of a layoff that was in excess of two years, but for a large chuck of that time, he was not able to train because he was in jail. Because of that, Madadi cannot let the fight come to him he needs to press the issue and shake off the rust right away.

Win the Grappling Exchanges

Parke and Madadi are both talented and accomplished grapplers who really look to impose their will on their opponents. Because both fighters are going to be looking to utilize their grappling prowess the winner of the fight will be the fighter who can get the better of the grappling exchanges.

Unlike Madadi, Parke has a great Judo base to go along with a solid wrestling game. Madadi is really going to have to work in this phase of the game but he has the chops to do it.

Exploit Parke’s Mistakes

Parke’s grappling and submission game is his bread and butter, but two of his four losses have come by way of submission. Granted, his last submission loss came over five years ago but it something to keep in mind. Madadi on the other hand has never been submitted. Of the two Parke is the most likely to make a mistake and when he does Madadi must capitalize on the opportunity.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.