The co-main event of the BRACE 42 card is a keenly contested welterweight contest that puts the experience of Rick Alchin against the constantly improving Tristan Murphy.
What is immediately striking about this contest is the sheer size of the two welterweights, both fighters being on the upper echelon in size and strength for the weight division, an advantage Alchin and Murphy have had the opportunity to use against opponents in the past.
Murphy will be looking to emulate the recent UFC success of his teammate Damien Brown and secure his third win for the 2016 calendar year whilst Alchin will be looking to add his impressive resume and knock off another of Australia’s most promising MMA prospects.
A lot is at stake in this bout, with a win set to propel either of the fighters up the welterweight rankings. At first glance both fighters look surprisingly similar: they both have power, with strong wrestling and top pressure games. Below we take a glimpse into what unique tendencies and skills separate the two fighters.
The only losses on Murphy’s record have come to two of Australia’s top welterweights, Anton Zafir and Ben Alloway, both of whom have fought in the UFC. Outside of this Murphy has been successful in all of his fights, with none of his victories going the distance.
Murphy has a very physical style. Everything he does is with 100% power and commitment. This of course has its advantages and disadvantages. Murphy will generally look to take the fight to the mat fairly quickly in his fights, shooting with a double leg takedown. If he gets the takedown Murphy will attempt to put on a lot of pressure in an attempt to smother his opponent. At the same time he will land strikes where he can, and pass his opponents guard on the lookout for a submission.
While this is often a successful tactic, Murphy’s 100% power approach lends stiffness to his ground game that is noticeable against top competition. Because he puts so much pressure on his opponents, they are often able to sweep him if they can successfully misdirect this pressure.
On the feet Murphy again utilises his power as much as he can. ‘Swinging for the fences’ really comes to mind when you think of Murphy. He will throw wild swinging hooks with bad intentions. Of course, again, there are advantages and disadvantages to this approach. Murphy is sometimes able to connect, and more often than not will put his opponents to sleep if he does. However if he fails to connect, he will throw himself off balance, so much so that he sometimes will fall to his back. Moreover throwing in such a wild fashion will leave Murphy open to inside leg kicks, that if timed properly will knock him off his feet and this is no doubt something Alchin will be looking to expose.
Alchin is a physical specimen and relies heavily on his power both in his striking and takedowns. However on close inspection the tendencies and techniques Alchin use vary quite considerably from Murphy.
Firstly, Alchin throws his punches with a lot less windup than Murphy. His hooks don’t come from so wide and he throws a lot more straight punches and uppercuts. This isn’t to say that Alchin doesn’t have power in his punches, in fact, he has heaps of power in his punches, but he doesn’t get anywhere near as wild when he throws them as Murphy.
Where Alchin’s striking game is at a disadvantage is his propensity at times to become stagnant. This was evident at BRACE 38 in his bout against Andrew Mills. Mills was able to stay a lot busier than Alchin and largely shut down his attack. While Alchin was able to get off a few nice leg kicks, his boxing game was mostly negated due to the outside footwork of Mills.
Alchin’s wrestling game is largely centred around single-leg, and body lock takedowns. Once he has completed these Alchin will look to maintain top position, or work to the back, where he will most often look to add to his impressive tally of nine submission finishes.
Fans can catch all the action live from AIS Arena in Canberra on August 13 from 2pm (AEST) or live on UFC Fight Pass. Tickets available through TickeTek.