Prospect in the Spotlight (Feb 7-8): Miranda Maverick

Introduction

Friday, February 7th, American flyweight prospect Miranda Maverick will be in action for Invicta, where she will be looking to score a title shot against Pearl Gonzalez. She will be looking to continue her hot streak, as Maverick looks to impress the UFC brass in an attempt to earn a contract. She represents Springfield Fight Club, a little-known camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Submission Grappling: Watch any Maverick fight and you will see how top-notch her submission grappling is. It’s her best quality. She’s a very technical grappler when she drags her opponent to the ground. She is very positionally sound. She’s good at getting to a great position with her excellent passing and advancement skills. She’s very tactical at getting to the right position to secure a submission. As a pro, amateur and exhibition fighter, she’s scored 11 submission victories. The armbar and rear-naked choke are her go-to finishing maneuvers. Her back mount is almost an automatic when it comes to finishing. She also competes regularly in grappling tournaments to positive results. Clearly, that mat game is refined.

Strength/Balance: For a 22-year-old fighter, Maverick has very impressive physical strength. Often times, she can gain a positional advantage just with her upper body strength. The reason she’s so good in the clinch, also, is because her core strength is also above average. That helps her balance when fighting close against the cage and on the ground. You’ll hear the color and play-by-play analysts mention it during her fights: even her opponents talk about how strong Maverick is.

Needs Improvement

Striking Intangibles: Maverick certainly isn’t a novice on the feet, but there are things about her striking game that can be tightened up to make her more successful. From time to time, her hands can get low, which makes her head an easier target to hit on the feet. Speaking of feet, a lot of times she gets flat footed. That affects her movement and allows her opponents to walk her down. A lot of times, she telegraphs her strikes to her opponent. Also, she hasn’t proven herself a knockout threat. Most of the time, her strikes are to set up her takedowns. Being more of a threat on the feet would set up those takedowns more easily.

Outside MMA Endeavors: Maverick is currently at university pursuing her further education. That’s great for her, but the outside activity could interfere with her overall training and progress. I don’t think this is a huge deal, but it certainly takes focus away from the cage.

Outlook

UFC Contender Down the Road: In reality, Maverick is 8-2 if you count the two exhibition bouts from the Phoenix Series, with one of those being a submission finish. So, despite the fact she’s 22 years old, inexperience is not a factor. She’s been competing since she was 18 years old and has been fighting with Invicta, which are bright lights in terms of MMA. So, she’s clearly ready to up her game. She’s a young, experienced talent that has a chance to be a top contender at her peak in a few years. Given her success with Invicta, the UFC needs to ink her as soon as possible, as she has the ability to be a tenured athlete on the roster.

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