The first fight on the main card features two featherweights, each looking for a bounce-back win. Spike Carlyle had a five-fight win streak snapped in his second UFC bout, this past May by decision loss to Billy Quarantillo.
Carlyle finished four of those five wins, all within the first two rounds, and the most recent in his UFC debut, by first-round knockout of Aalon Cruz. Carlyle is 9-2 with seven finishes, five of them knockouts, all but one have been in the first round.
Bill Algeo slipped in his UFC debut this past August, losing by unanimous decision to Ricardo Lamas. He’s 13-5 with nine finishes, six of them submissions, all but one of those submissions have been rear naked chokes.
Spike Carlyle has been described as a first-round fighter who isn’t the same guy in the second and third rounds. In most of his fights, he attacks hard in the first round and looks to finish the fight as soon as possible, but tends to exert a lot of energy in the process.
Carlyle is extremely strong for the featherweight division, and primarily looks to attack with his wrestling and land ground and pound shots. He’s very active on the ground and transitions smoothly and quickly. He’s a purple belt in jiu jitsu and doesn’t have great submission skills, but is a fair threat.
On his feet, Carlyle is athletic and likes to throw a lot of kicks. He has serious power in his hands, but isn’t the most advanced striker. He is always looking to throw elbows and lands them as counter shots and in the clinch. Once he has opponents hurt, he has a killer instinct. He goes for the finish at all costs.
Carlyle has shown a tendency to give up his back against more advanced jiu jitsu players. This could be a concern against Bill Algeo, a black belt with six submissions on his record.
Algeo has shown Jiu Jitsu dominance on the ground in his pro career, and he could be dangerous if this fight escapes the first round. In his appearance on the contender series, he struggled against Brendan Loughnane. Algeo was constantly getting caught on his way into exchanges by counter jabs and straights.
His kicks weren’t landing and his legs were getting chewed up by low kicks. He was thrown around in the clinch, and never really made an effort to get the fight to the ground until he was desperate late in the fight. He actually got taken down a few times and immediately tried to get back to his feet in the earlier rounds.
Algeo’s conditioning is a serious question. Powerful counter-strikers have proven to be a problem for Algeo in the past. Algeo tries to push forward which gets him caught because he doesn’t keep his hands up.
In Algeo’s opportunistic UFC debut, he took the fight to veteran Ricardo Lamas in a three-round brawl. He got better and more confident as the fight went on, showed some excellent kickboxing, landed hooks with both hands, some knees and elbows, and really didn’t absorb much damage in the second round.
This will be an entertaining fight between two game fighters who love to move forward and press the action. Something that’s worth noting is that Algeo has never been knocked out. He has also never fought an opponent who possesses the kind of power that Spike Carlyle does.
We think Carlyle is going to finish this fight early. Algeo is dangerous if the fight gets into the later rounds, but he exposes himself to too much damage to survive the first round with Carlyle. Even if it does get into the later rounds, dangerous is all that Algeo is, he doesn’t necessarily possess an advantage in rounds two and three.
Though there is a noticeable drop in Carlyle’s output in the second rounds of all of his fights that have gotten there, Algeo has shown that same drop. Carlyle is much stronger, and when the fight becomes a wrestling match, Carlyle will have the advantage. Carlyle is a safe play on the moneyline, but we will be hedging with Algeo by submission.