It is easy to lose track of all the talented fighters in the UFC middleweight division due to the rise of certain stars such as Paulo Costa, Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and current UFC Middle Champion Israel Adesanya. One of the most game and entertaining middleweight fighters on the UFC roster today is none other than Gerald “The Machine” Meerschaert. Meerschaert made his UFC back in December of 2016 where he submitted Joe Gigliotti in the first round. He followed up his impressive debut with a first round armbar at the expense of Ryan Janes only three months later. Meerschaert has compiled a 6-4 UFC record and has fought some of the more talented fighters in the UFC including Thiago Santos, Jack Hermansson, Kevin Holland and Eryk Anders. “The Machine” should likely be riding a three-fight win streak but a controversial split decision loss to Anders back in October of 2019 has led to a 2-1 UFC record since August of 2019. Win or lose, it is highly unlikely that Meerschaert is ever involved in a boring fight and he has proven just that since his arrival to the UFC almost four years ago.
Meerschaert’ s latest win came at the expense of Daniel Cormier’s protégé Deron Winn. After overcoming Winn’s power in the early rounds, Meerschaert hurt Winn in round three and eventually secured a rear-naked choke submission at 2:14 of round three. He has also several memorable finishes in the Octagon including a brutal body kick knockout of Eric Spicely and a second-round guillotine choke submission victory over Trevin Giles. He is averaging an impressive 3.18 takedowns and 2.20 submission per 15 minutes and has earned himself a top 15 opponent after an impressive start to 2020.
On June 6, 2020 Meerschaert will finally get to face a ranked opponent in Ian Heinisch. Heinisch is currently the #13 ranked UFC middleweight and will be motivated to return to the win column after suffering back to back losses to Derek Brunson and Omari Akhmedov. Meerschaert will have a significant reach advantage over Heinisch (77.5 to 72) which makes the game plan straightforward. He will have to control the distance using his length to jabs, front kicks, and powerful hooks in effort to derail Heinisch’s offense. After peppering Heinisch with long strikes, Meerschaert can look for the knockout or opt to take the fight to the ground where he holds a distinct advantage in the grappling department. This bout may just be the most significant fight of the preliminary card and features two of the very best middleweights in the UFC today.
Official Prediction: Gerald Meerschaert by second round TKO.
This fight should certainly be the preliminary card’s main bout due to Heinisch being a top 15 middleweight and Meerschaert’ s ability to land himself in the top 15 with a win. Both are skilled fighters but Meerschaert’ s reach, experience, durability and high-level ground game should set him up for a finish on the feet after. While he usually opts to finish the fight on the ground, I believe he lands in the second and follows up with vicious ground strikes to earn himself a second TKO.
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