Saturday, February 23rd, Russian-Israeli featherweight prospect Olga Rubin will be in action in Ireland, where he will be looking to continue his undefeated streak against fellow prospect Iony Razafiarison. She will be looking to score yet another win, as Rubin looks to inch closer to a Bellator featherweight title shot. Rubin represents Team Titan gym, an underrated camp out of England. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”
Striking: Watch any of Rubin’s fights and you’ll immediately notice she’s a striker. She moves like a striker and she throws strikes like a striker. She has very good footwork and movement on the feet. She uses a lot of feints to set up other strikes, especially shoulder rolls. She is especially known for having powerful kicks. Not only are they powerful, but she tends to be diverse, switching things up between leg kicks, body kicks and head kicks. She strikes well from a distance, but is also dangerous in the clinch. She throws very heavy knees from in close and controls her opponents well. If she does take down her opponent, she has pretty good ground-and-pound, especially from side position.
Fearless: Rubin is also absolutely fearless in the cage and doesn’t mind fighting to her opponent’s strengths. For proof, watch her fight against UFC veteran Cindy Dandois. Rubin actually felt comfortable enough to fight on the ground with Dandois, a judo black belt who isn’t exactly known to be a competent striker. She could have diced up Dandois in a pure striking battle, but showed no fear in challenging herself against a strong grappler.
Lack of Aggression: A big knock on Rubin will be her lack of aggression from time to time. First off, she tends to get off to slow starts in the opening round. She takes a lot of time to get comfortable and gauge her opponent. As the fight goes on, she can sometimes be too patient with her opponent and doesn’t always press them. Her killer instinct is so-so as well, as she can hurt opponents and let them off the hook. That may come back to bite her in the butt in the future.
Takedown Defense: From time to time, you can see she has some holes in her takedown defense. Her good footwork when striking helps keep her out shooting distance most of the time, but when she’s flat footed, she can get caught in a takedown. She has been taken down by Cindy Dandois, which there is no shame seeing as she’s a black belt in judo. However, she was taken down in her fight against Tatiana Voznyuk, a no-name fighter in a Israeli regional show. She really needs to tighten that up, especially the more she steps up in competition.
Bellator Title Challenger: Olga Rubin will defeat Razafiarison and earn a title shot at Julia Budd. However, she will not defeat Budd, as she possesses a skill set that plays to Rubin’s disadvantages. All that considered, Rubin will stay a top-10 featherweight for a long time. The division is pretty thin. That’s not a knock, though, as she is a very skilled fighter deserving of a ranking like that. Expect much success from this fighter going forward.