I don’t know when, I don’t know why, and I don’t know how, but it feels like the UFC is out getting more heavyweight talent than ever before. They currently have 10 heavyweights on their roster with two fights or fewer for the promotion, that’s more than 25% of their heavyweight talent. Add in another 8 relatively untested light heavyweight fighters and big things are happening… literally. The latest of those is the freshly announced pickup of Syrian heavyweight Jarjis Danho. His management team announced the signing via press release. No debut date was named for his first fight in the Octagon, but it sounds like early 2016 is the target. So…
Who is Jarjis Danho:
The Syrian-born German heavyweight comes to the UFC at 31 years of age training out of the Hammers Team, under regional vet Gabriel Tampu. Danho is the first fighter to really break through from Tampu’s camp, which seems to host a lot of very green talent. He’ll enter the Octagon with a 6-0 (1 NC) undefeated record with wins over solidly experienced veteran fighters Stefan Traunmueller and Marcus Vanttinen. In general (and especially for a regional heavyweight) his level of competition has been notably solid. Not the kind of thing to get anyone too excited, but better than expected. Worth noting as well, at least according to his press release, Danho cuts to 265 down from around 290. Coupled with his listed height of 6′ 3″ that makes him a pretty legit sized heavyweight. Outside of MMA, he has a background in powerlifting.
What you should expect:
Like a lot of big athletic guys that came late to an MMA career, Danho’s game is reflective of someone still learning a lot of the basics of the sport. He has good punching mechanics, especially when he’s in the pocket, but he’s not really comfortable fighting anywhere except in dirty boxing range. I know he’s spent some time at a boxing gym, and it shows in some of his timing and in his willingness to dig to the body, but his range striking mostly revolves around waiting for a chance to charge in and push his opponent against the cage. He’s a willing wrestler, but overly dependent on the single leg takedown and not very well versed on the defensive side of things. In short, Danho seems like the kind of fighter who, with the right training and enough time could get a lot better. Right now he’s a solid power-punching brawler who carries his power late into fights. Whether he gets the time and training to be more remains to be seen.
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