Flashy lightweight Daron Cruickshank looks to take his career to the next level at UFC on FOX 12 when he tangles with rugged veteran Jorge Masvidal. Both competitors are coming off solid victories in their last appearances, and the matchup in San Jose has explosive potential.
“The Detroit Superstar” delivered a second consecutive head kick finish against Erik Koch at Fight Night 40 in Ohio. The first-round stoppage improved his UFC record to 5-2, and was the third knockout that he had produced via that technique. He also finished Mike Rio and Henry Martinez in highlight-reel fashion.
Cruickshank is a dynamic striker with a solid offensive arsenal. He’s an extremely athletic 155-pound competitor who has produced a 15-4 career mark. 10 of his victories have come by knockout or submission. The win against Koch definitely raised Cruickshank’s stock in the division, and he now gets another stern test against Masvidal.
Masvidal produced a unanimous decision victory in his last Octagon effort at UFC on FOX 11 against Pat Healy. ”Gamebred” outstruck the durable veteran by showcasing his strong boxing skills and all-around offensive skillset. He’s gone 3-1 during his UFC tenure, with that lone setback coming by decision against Rustam Khabilov last November in an entertaining Fight of the Night.
Masvidal handed Ultimate Fighter Season 15 winner Michael Chiesa his only loss, and holds other notable career wins over K.J. Noons and Joe Lauzon.
The former Strikeforce title challenger is certainly battle-tested, having squared off against the likes of Gilbert Melendez, Paul Daley and Raphael Assuncao. Masvidal is as tough as they come, having been knocked out just once in his 34-fight career. His chin will get a solid test against Cruickshank’s explosiveness. Masvidal has 10 knockouts to his credit in 26 career wins, and is always prepared for a good stand-up battle.
With both Cruickshank and Masvidal having been involved in entertaining clashes in the past, this particular matchup should make for a fan-friendly battle. Both competitors will be motivated to make a statement in order to solidify themselves as top-15 material in a talent-laden division.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports