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Brunson’s X-Factor: Changing Levels
Usually when we discuss changing levels, it’s all about the takedown, especially with wrestlers. In this case, it’s also about attacking the body with strikes.
Brunson needs to gain Whittaker’s respect. If he headhunts, Whittaker’s slick head movement and footwork will slip his power shots. Brunson needs to go after his body to lower his defenses. Successful striking will also allow him to time Whittaker’s strikes so he can change levels and take him down with a shot.
Body work and takedowns are going to be important for Brunson on Saturday.
Whittaker’s X-Factor: Early Takedown Defense
This is almost a no-brainer, but it’s just the fact of the matter. Whittaker’s early takedown defense is key to his success.
Whittaker has to keep Brunson standing in order to win this fight. If he is taken down early, Brunson will grind him down. It’ll sap Whittaker’s power and speed. He’ll be easier to handle as each round passes. If Whittaker can stuff him early, Brunson will have to deal with the wicked combinations Whittaker brings.
If Brunson is successful with his wrestling right away, it will be a long evening for Whittaker.