Matt Schnell (+112) vs. Tyson Nam (-132)

Weight Class: Flyweight (125 lbs)

Tyson Nam and Matt Schnell will finally clash at UFC Fight Island 8 after multiple scheduled bouts between the two fell through in 2020. The two were first matched up in September, but Schnell was forced to withdraw following a bad weight cut. Another scheduled meeting in December also fell through.

As a result, Hawaii’s Tyson Nam has picked up two short notice wins in a row, and in dominant fashion. The veteran first secured a minute one knockout against UFC newcomer Zarrukh Adashev after a bout with Ryan Benoit fell through in June. Though Adashev had appeared in just four professional fights as of the June clash, Tyson Nam looked as good as he’s ever looked. His above average power for the division was on full display and he only needed one counter right to put his opponent out.

Nam then followed this up with a first round KO of another UFC newcomer in Jerome Rivera. Nam was able to secure yet another first round knockout following the first cancellation of the Schnell fight.

In both victories, Tyson Nam looked outstanding. Yes, both opponents were quite green for the UFC, but as stated above, the power cannot be overlooked. The Hawaiian has great Muy Thai, heavy leg kicks and will back his opponent up with ease.

On the negative side to Nam’s game, he can sometimes fall behind in the volume department. He tends to set up the knockout shot and doesn’t have the highest output per minute. His ground game also isn’t his strongest area, which could be problematic against a dangerous submission artist in Schnell. However, Tyson Nam has also had great takedown defense throughout his MMA career and will have some physical edges over Schnell.

As for “Danger” Matt Schnell, he will be looking to get back in the win column following a knockout loss to Alexandre Pantoja in late 2019. Schnell came up on the wrong side of a slug fest and ended up getting dropped with an overhand right.

Before the loss to Pantoja, Schnell was ranked within the top ten and had racked up four wins in a row. His two wins on the back-end were crafty submission victories over Louis Smolka and Jordan Espinosa. Schnell secured each submission off his back and didn’t leave any chance for escape he locked in. Matt Schnell will seamlessly transition from one submission attempt to another, which makes him tough to escape from.

On the feet, Schnell usually looks to counter and has solid movement. He moves side to side constantly, which will help against a fighter like Tyson Nam, who will be bringing pressure.

Overall, this is a close fight to judge and could go either way. Ultimately though, I like the power of Tyson Nam. Though Schnell perhaps has  more paths to victory, he has gotten cracked more than once in his UFC career and Nam has the tools to do it again.

Of course Schnell will have a huge edge on the ground, but I do think Nam will be able to stuff any take down attempts. Schnell is more likely to take his back at an opportune time then he is to attempt a take down. I could see a-lot of clinching in this one, but it will be tough for Schnell to ground Tyson Nam.

Ultimately, I do think Tyson Nam with a full camp will factor in. He’s had a-lot of time to prepare for this opponent and is on a tear right now. The volume could be troublesome, but even if it’s close, I just see Nam landing much heavier and thus, swaying the score cards.

Betting wise, I threw 1u on Tyson Nam at (-132) and made another sprinkle bet on a knockout.

Prediction and play: Tyson Nam moneyline (-132)

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