On Saturday night, June 6, the UFC holds its first-ever pay-per-view event inside the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The promotions’ fifth event during the COVID-19 pandemic, UFC 250 is headlined by double champion Amanda Nunes, who defends her featherweight strap against Felicia Spencer. The co-main event features a bantamweight clash between former champion Cody Garbrandt and Raphael Assuncao.
Although nowhere nearly as loaded as the infamous UFC 249 card that we witnessed less than a month ago, UFC 250 has a number of interesting matchups that will undoubtedly cause shifts in divisional rankings and pave the way for new and possibly old contenders to rise up and steal the show this coming Saturday. One of the more interesting matchups that has significant ranking implications is the middleweight showdown between Ian Heinisch and Gerald Meerschaert taking place on the preliminary card of 250. Heinisch is coming off two back to back losses for the first time in his career while Meerschaert has compiled a 2-1 record in his last three outings most recently submitting Daniel Cormier’s protégé Deron Winn in the third round back at UFC 248. The former currently holds a #13 UFC middleweight ranking and will no doubt look to put an end to his losing streak with a win over Meerschaert. Meerschaert is currently ranked as the #25 UFC middleweight according to mma world rankings and will likely earn himself a top 15 UFC middleweight ranking with an impressive win at UFC 250.
If it were not for a controversial split decision loss to Eryk Anders back in October 2019, Meerschaert would be riding a three-fight win streak and be well on his way to a top 15 ranking. The 10 fight UFC veteran has been one of the more polished submission fighters in the UFC and holds notable submission wins over Ryan Janes, Oskar Piechota, Trevon Giles, and Deron Winn. Perhaps his most memorable octagon performance was a nasty body kick KO of Eric Spicely back in December of 2017. Besides two extremely close split decision losses to Kevin Holland and Eryk Anders, Meerschaert has only definitively lost to former UFC Light heavyweight title challenger Thiago Santos and top ranked UFC middleweight Jack Hermansson. He has over 40 professional mixed martial arts bouts on his resume and will use his years of experience come this Saturday to pursue his first win over a top 15 middleweight.
Ian Heinisch made a huge splash in the mixed martial world when he knocked out Justin Sumter via elbows in the first round on Dana White’s Contenders Series 15 back in 2018. Since then, Colorado native has gone 2-2 in his Octagon. He was able to win a pair of unanimous decisions over Cezar Ferreira and Antonio Carlos Junior before dropping a pair of unanimous decision losses to Derek Brunson and Omari Akhmedov. Heinisch has not been able to show that killer instinct which landed him a UFC contract in the first place and has struggled with being able to handle the pressure and pace of the upper tier fighters in the UFC middleweight division. That being said, he is still very green in his UFC career and to have gone 2-2 after fighting notable UFC veterans such as Brunson and Carlos Junior is still very impressive.
Prediction and Bout Preview:
This bout will ultimately come down to how well Meerschaert can use his obvious advantages to dictate the distance and pace of the fight. Meerschaert will have a five-and-a-half-inch reach advantage over Heinisch as well as possess the better ground skills. He holds a black belt in both Roufousport Kickboxing and BJJ and has put his submissions skills on display several times throughout his octagon career. Heinisch has defeated two solid opponents in Cezar Ferreira and Antonio Carlos Junior but after two back to back losses, his #13 ranking is frankly puzzling. Brunson was able to convincingly defeat him using constant pressure, threatening the takedown, and implementing volume striking.
Gerald Meerschaert by second round TKO. Yes, he is known for getting it done on the ground but I believe Duke Roufus will have a solid game plan in place for this bout that will take advantage of the reach Meerschaert holds over Heinisch and use it to the “The Machine’s” advantage. A win over Heinisch puts him in the top 15 and opens up the possibility of several interesting bouts for Meerschaert’ s next octagon appearance!
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