Legacy FC – In Depth: Gardner vs Rexroad

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Preview by: Richard Burmaster

You rarely see a draw in MMA and for good reasons, usually at some point in the fight one of the fighters has the advantage. The first time Craig and Jeff matched up neither was able to push the other person around and the two evenly matched fighters battled to a draw. Since then both have had impressive careers and now they are prepared to face off once again in the pros’. Let’s break down this fight.

Craig_Gardner Craig Gardner Name Jeff Rexroad Jeff Rexroad
Nickname
6’2″ Height 6’3″
170 Weight 170
0-0 Record 1-0
Westside MMA Gym Paradigm
Vs
None – Pro Debut Last Three Fights Danny Taylor (W – TKO)
POWER:

Jeff showed good power in his last fight ending Danny Taylors night in 44 seconds with a barrage of crisp strikes. Craig has shown decent power but is more of a technical striker than a power puncher.

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DRAW SPEED:

Both fighters have shown above average speed throughout their careers and neither will hold an advantage here.

DRAW
DRAW

WRESTLING:

Both fighter have shown good take-down defense and are rarely pushed around in the cage.

DRAW
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CLINCH:

I have not seen Jeff work much from the clinch but I am sure working with the guys at Paradigm he has improved in this department. Craig has shown a very good clinch in his last few fights in both MMA and MT minus the experiment at 185 in his last fight.


DRAW GROUND:

Jeff is a brown belt in BJJ but rarely has to show his skills on the ground as he likes to stand and trade. Craig is a blue belt out of Westside, a school known for its great ground coaches and techniques. Craig likes to submit his opponents but will have problems with Jeff here. The difference in belt rank was not apparent in their last fight.

DRAW
DRAW CARDIO:

Neither fighter ever seems to be tired. Both of them come from schools that focus heavily on conditioning and I would expect nothing less than full tanks from both fighters.

DRAW

WINNER:

Jeff Rexroad via Decision

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SUMMARY:

By far this was the hardest fight for me to pick. These two fighters match up so evenly it seems the fight will be decided by who wakes up in a better mood that day. Jeff likes to strike early and often and should be the aggressor in this fight.

Craig starts a little slower but usually finds his rhythm after a short bit. Craig has used his BJJ more in the cage but Jeff is no slouch on the ground. I think this fight will come down to can Craig pressure Jeff against the fence and wear him down.

I don’t see that happening this time. Craig is coming off of a disappointing loss in his last ammy fight and with the recent changes at Westside, he may not be in his usual state of mind for this fight.

Jeff will have his hands full but should be able to pull this one out.  This will be the closest fight of the night and I will be happy to see either guy get their hand raised at the end.