On March 6th, Daniel Ghita will take on Hersdy Gerges in the main event of It's Showtime Sporthallen Zuid. This is the first in a two-part series where I will lay out the keys to victory for each fighter. Today, we'll look at Daniel Ghita.
Kicks - Daniel has won many of his fights with his devastating leg kicks. He basically ran through the whole 2009 K-1 Tokyo Qualifying Grand Prix in record time using them. Watching his fights, you'll often see the effects of his low kicks start to show on his opponents after just a few of them landing. Against Gokhan Saki in the 2010 K-1 WGP Final, we also saw how brutal those kicks can be when Daniel attacks the body. Even though Gokhan earned the tough victory, his body was so abused that he had nothing to give against Alistair Overeem in the semifinal's and had to concede defeat early in the first round.
Hands - On the flip side of that, there have been times where Ghita would rely solely on his kicks and not use his hands enough. That has changed recently as we saw Daniel knock out Errol Zimmerman at the 2010 K-1 WGP Final 16 with a nasty straight right that proved to everyone Ghita's hands had arrived.
Chin - With only one knockout loss on his record, Ghita has a tough chin and can take as much punishment as he gives out. This durability combined with his knockout power, makes Daniel a threat from bell to bell.
Size - At 6'5" and 240, Ghita has the height and mass to contend with any fighter he takes on.
Complacency - In the past, there were times when Ghita appeared to put it on cruise when his offense wasn't paying dividends. Almost seeming to ride out a decision. Thankfully, I haven't seen this from Daniel in quite awhile and I don't anticipate it happening against Hesdy, either. I think we'll see a very hungry Daniel Ghita.
Conditioning - The great equalizer, especially among heavyweights. We saw Ghita run out of steam towards the end of the Saki fight which may have cost him the decision. To Daniel's defense, it was widely speculated that he was sick going into that fight which would surely hinder his conditioning.
Keys to Victory:
For Daniel Ghita to take home a win against the It's Showtime Heavyweight Champion, he'll need to use his crushing leg kicks to slow the athletic and aggressive Gerges. Once Hesdy starts to feel his legs start to slow down, Daniel will be able to move in and put his hands to work alongside those mighty kicks. Although Gerges is the taller fighter, he is not built as big as Daniel. Ghita can attack the body of Gerges with kicks and punches to tear him down; much like Ghita did against Gokhan Saki.
If Daniel is able to stick to this gameplan, I believe he will be victorious on March 6th.