Megan Anderson vs Peggy Morgan: Know thy Enemy

It has been a successful year thus far for Megan Anderson.

The Australian fighter has notched up two impressive wins via TKO with another win this weekend set to propel the featherweight further up the Invicta rankings.

Standing across the cage at Invicta 18 this weekend will be The Ultimate Fighter 18 alumni Peggy Morgan. What is immediately interesting about this fight is the height of both competitors, officially measuring over 6 feet tall. Any previous advantage Morgan or Anderson took into bouts in terms of height, range and reach has now been negated.

Throughout the course of Morgan’s career it is clear she has a tendency to utilise her reach, focusing on a jab, jab/cross combination, and lead right hand/jab combination. The American will throw these continuously while maintaining strong forward pressure. However her style is one that seems to exchange power for volume. Nick Diaz is another fighter who has adopted this approach. Diaz will pepper his opponents with punches that are at approximately 70% of his overall punching power whilst throwing in a punch with 90-100% power sporadically to keep his opponent guessing. The accumulation of punches combined with a considerably powerful strike can be a devastating combination.

This is where Morgan has had trouble in the past. She may land five unanswered punches, yet her opponent’s strike will do more damage than the five combined. Morgan’s strikes are plentiful but they often fail to dissuade an aggressive counter puncher from throwing back. Looking back at her past fights Morgan has traditionally done well against fighters she can smother with punches and get on the back foot early; however she starts to run into trouble with opponents who start hooking off of her jab both to the head and body.

Surprisingly most of Morgan’s success in the cage has been due to her clinch fighting. Being such a tall fighter you would expect her to utilise the Thai clinch and look to land knees however Morgan primarily looks to clinch her opponent against the cage and go for the double underhooks whilst trying to secure a body lock takedown, or battle for head position and land strikes while trapping one of her opponents hands in place.

While the two fighters are physically similar, their styles, particularly in their striking are quite different. Morgan’s cumulative peppering style will look to outwork her opponent from distance. On the flip-side Anderson’s strong ability to finish will no doubt see her look to inflict as much damage as possible, as early as possible and continue to establish her as the best up and coming female featherweight in the division.

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