Before we get to the main attraction on Saturday at the It's Showtime Fast & Furious 70MAX event, the reserve fights will be taking place on the undercard. These fights won't be televised,and we'll probably never see them but they're still important in that if one of the tournament participants get injured, the winners of these bouts will be substituted in their place. Now before we get into breaking down the fights, let's be real here. None of these fighters really deserve a reserve spot, having not done anything to warrant them.
Reserve Fight #1: William Diender vs. Andy Ristie
How William Diender received a reserve spot is pretty puzzling. Name a fighter and there's a big chance he's lost to them. Diender has lost seven of his last eight, including a dreadful six fight losing streak. As for Andy Ristie, he's a pretty decent fighter himself. Ristie still doesn't have the resume to justify a reserve spot though.
A good comparison to Andy Ristie in my opinion would be Marco Pique. Much like Pique, Ristie loves using his step up and jump knees. He's really light on his feet and can move around the ring efficiently enough to give opponents trouble. Add in his aggressive fighting style and I favor Andy Ristie in this fight. Both guys don't have great defence by any means but atleast Ristie will move away from strikes while Diender just stands in front of his opponent and absorbs shots. Ristie will leave himself open a lot but Diender doesn't have enough power to throw him off.
If I were to predict the outcome, I'd say Andy Ristie will tag Diender with knees to the body many times in the fight and finish it in the third round. That or he takes a wide decision.
Reserve Fight #2: Fatih Ozkan vs. Nordin Benmoh
Again, another head-scratcher here. Neither of these guys have done anything to warrant a reserve spot. Fatih Ozkan came up short in a competitive fight against Mosab Amrani in February while Nordin Benmoh laid out Ibrahim Chiahou in pretty spectacular fashion in the same month. Benmoh has grown quite well into a 70kg frame, while Ozkan is still on the small side and could probably fight at lower weights.
Nordin Benmoh has a decent understanding of how to fight tall, and he'll need to do it in this fight. He'll have to stay on the outside and pick his shots. He tends to explode on opponents when he has them backed up and often leaves himself open. This is where Ozkan could catch him if he isn't careful. Benmoh has sufficient power and his progression as a fighter from a few years ago has been apparent. Ozkan will have to pressure him in order to win. He can't afford to have lapses of inactivity in the fight either, as that's where Benmoh will start unleashing the full arsenal of power strikes.
My prediction? Nordin Benmoh by decision. I think he has some upside and potential that can be utilized with his frame at 70kg. In his recent fights, he's shown a better understanding of using his height and better judgement of when to unleash with power shots. Then again, I could be way off here, as Steven Wright and Dave Walsh both picked Fatih Ozkan.
To sum it up: None of these fighters really stand a chance against anyone in the tournament. No one here has done anything to warrant a reserve spot. Hate to sound like a negative nancy but that's just how I see it, and I'm sure how many others do as well.