Preview: UFC on ESPN 28 Prelims - Garcia vs. Gruetzemacher

By: Tom Feely
Jul 29, 2021

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Lightweights

NR | Rafa Garcia (11-1, 0-1 UFC) vs. NR | Chris Gruetzemacher (14-4, 2-3 UFC)

ODDS: Garcia (-270), Gruetzemacher (+230)

Garcia did not get a win in his UFC debut, but his fight against Nasrat Haqparast was a success in an overall sense. Not much was expected from Garcia in a late-notice spot against one of the lightweight division’s most talented prospects, but the Mexican made Haqparast work for the win, marching through abuse while continuing to throw out offense. Along with his previous success in Combate Americas, the bout against Haqparast marked Garcia as an action fighter to watch going forward. Gruetzemacher is a fairly straightforward pressure fighter with some decent skill, but he has mostly been undone by the fact that he is a subpar athlete at the UFC level. His lone UFC wins so far have come against “The Ultimate Fighter 22” castmate Abner Lloveras and a career-worst version of Joe Lauzon.

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Add in some long injury layoffs, and Gruetzemacher’s UFC run has not gained much momentum. However, he has been scrappy enough to provide some entertainment every time out. This should be an enjoyable fight between two offense-first fighters, but Garcia seems quite likely to win the war of attrition, both as the harder hitter and the more durable competitor. The pick is Garcia via second-round stoppage.

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