Damien Brown vs Cesar Arzamendia: Know thy Enemy

Veteran Australian fighter, Damien ‘Beatdown’ Brown will make his second appearance inside the Octagon this weekend when he heads to Atlanta, Georgia to kick off UFC 201 against Paraguay’s Cesar Arzamendia.

Brown, who fights out of Integrated MMA in Brisbane, will be looking to put his short notice debut loss behind him, and capitalise on a full fight camp that had previously led to five consecutive victories, four of which were finishes.

Standing in his way will be TUF Latin America 2 veteran Arzamendia who is also looking for his first win in the UFC. With both fighters champing at a bit for that elusive ‘W’ fans can look forward to what will no doubt be an explosive clash.

One of the key components to Arzamendia’s game is his aggressiveness. It is the foundation on which the rest of his technique, skill, and indeed flaws rest upon. Whilst Arzamendia isn’t necessarily a fighter who smothers his opponents, or provides a perception of threat through the use of feints or maintaining distance, he is very much a “balls to the wall,” full throttle fighter who will charge at his opponent straight out of the gate.

It might not be the most subtle of approaches but it does have its advantages. In Arzamendia’s first fight in the TUF house he was able to utilise the style to overwhelm his opponent with a barrage of strikes. While the display wasn’t super technical, it highlighted a couple of weapons he likes to call on. The most important of these is his use of knees from the Muay Thai clinch. Arzamendia likes to close the distance with a few punches and then establish the clinch. From there he will throw a couple of knees to the body, and then separate, rinse and repeat. Between these knees Arzamendia likes to throw a roundhouse kick off of both legs to the body, as well as an outside right leg kick now and then.

Arzamendia also aggressively looks for both single and double leg takedowns, largely in the middle of the cage as opposed to up against the fence. Based on his striking you could assume that once he completes the takedown Arzamendia would look to smash his opponents with strikes however he generally tries to be more systematic than that. Firstly, he will look to stand up and pass to half guard. From there he won’t attempt to pass to side control or full mount, instead he often looks to set up a guillotine or anaconda choke. On most occasions Arzamendia will give up position, letting his opponent stand up in an attempt to finish the choke. While this hasn’t been successful in the UFC or TUF house his three submission wins (two by guillotine, one by anaconda) point to his previous success with the technique.

While this aggressive style has its advantages, it also has its flaws. These can most obviously be seen in Arzamendia’s defensive ability, especially around his striking. Arzamendia gets caught fairly often with hooks off of his jab. He will shoot out his jab, miss, and then retract it slowly back down to his waist. His opponent’s hook will then come over the top of the falling jab and catch him. Furthermore his aggressive style simply lends itself more to offence than defense. Arzamendia looks good when he is hurting his opponent, but if his opponent starts throwing back, he gets caught pretty quickly.

If Brown can effectively mitigate Arazmendia’s aggression and early onslaught, he will go a long way to earning his first UFC win.

Damien “Beatdown” Brown to face Cesar Arzamendia at UFC 201

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Jake Crane is a Melbourne based contributor for Fight News Australia.