The vacant XFC bantamweight title is up for grabs this Saturday night at XFC 27 in Brisbane as two of Australia’s most established bantamweights collide. Gustavo Falciroli meets Julian “Julz the Jackal” Wallace in what is set to be a captivating clash of styles.
This clash is firstly evident in both the fighters’ fashion sense. Falciroli often comes into his fights sporting a buzz cut of bright blue hair. In stark contrast the Jackal is covered almost head to toe in a range of tattoos, rocking a barber’s undercut and proficiently manicured beard.
All fashion aside, the contest is truly set to be a clash of styles. Both fighters possess unique tendencies, skills, and techniques which they employ with devastating efficiency.
The first thing to look at in Jackal’s game is his raw striking power, Wallace throws everything, knees, punches and kicks, really, really hard. Not dissimilar to Jose Aldo, Wallace has a background in soccer which seems to directly translate into is leg-kicking proficiency. A lot of fighters throw leg kicks, but not that many are able to severely damage their opponent as quickly as Wallace can. He will throw vicious inside and outside leg kicks, which if aren’t adequately dealt with can be a real problem. Indeed Wallace TKO’d his last opponent after successfully hurting and dropping him with leg kicks.
Outside of his leg kicks Wallace has most of his success with knees in the clinch, and his front kick to the face. He is able to generate a lot of power with these strikes and they present a real danger to his opponents. Power is of course an advantage, however it can also lead to bad habits. This is most evident in Wallace’s boxing game. The Jackal will throw punches, but they are rarely in bunches. He will snap out a powerful jab, then retreat, throw a thunderous uppercut, and then step to his side. The problem with this is that it may lead to predictability; his opponent will become conditioned to expect one strike, albeit a power strike, at a time.
From a grappling perspective, Wallace’s game largely revolves around stuffing takedowns, or if he is taken down, swiftly getting back to his feet. It is of course important to note that Wallace spent this fight camp at the world famous team Alpha Male training with some of the worlds best, and is bound to have improved in leaps and bounds for this fight.
On the other hand, Gustavo Falciroli is one of Australia’s most accomplished bantamweight fighters. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt has fought a range of world-class competition across a variety of organisations.
What is primarily evident across Falciroli’s fights is that he is most dangerous when the fight hits the mat. Falciroli will most often get the fight to the mat by pursuing a single leg takedown. If he is unable to complete the single leg he will frequently look to scoot around to the back of his opponent and drag them down to the mat.
To disseminate Falciroli’s ground game into one particular dangerous element is perhaps misleading, as he is truly the epitome of a well-rounded ground fighter. However if we were to choose one weapon to focus upon it would be his combination of the triangle choke and straight-arm bar submissions. The two submissions work interchangeably, and Falciroli is able to effectively switch between the two based upon the situation he finds himself in.
While Falciroli is most comfortable when the fight hits the mat, he is by no means a slouch standing up, with an unorthodox striking game that often takes his opponents by surprise. The unorthodox nature of Falciroli’s striking arsenal rests upon the fact that most of his strikes are thrown from his lead left side. As an orthodox fighter, his rear right side is generally a lot more powerful, yet Falciroli for whatever reason favors his left sided strikes. He will most often lead with a left hook or upwards-left elbow. Falciroli also possesses a nice inside left leg kick and a lead leg teep to the body or face. Indeed the only strike he often throws from his right side is a punch when he is able to catch a kick aimed at his left side.
This is truly set to be a contest between two starkly unique styles, with the victorious fighter set to take home the coveted XFC bantamweight title.