The main event for Cage Warriors 136 is Duncan vs Melan, a fight between undefeated prospects for the middleweight title. Melan just won the title and is the underdog in his first title defense. Our betting pick is an overview of the fighter stats and our top betting pick, the Cage Warrior 136 odds, and an MMA breakdown for Duncan vs Melan. Place your bet by 1:00 PM ET and catch the fight April 2nd, 2022 on UFC Fight Pass.
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CW 136: Duncan vs Melan Main Event Betting Pick
Duncan is the better striker and finisher. He has more fight experience overall, and his performance showcases his ability to manage the grappling of Melan, at least enough to avoid any early ground striking finishes. Melan is small for a middleweight, and Duncan’s weight cut will matter most while Melan attempts to get the takedown.
Cage Warriors 136 Tale of the Tape and Odds for Duncan vs Melan
|Fighter||Christian Leroy Duncan||Djati Melan|
|Fighter Training Camp||Range Martial Arts Academy||Kong Smashing Club Paris|
Both fighters have three TKO finishes, but the finishing percentage difference is notable. Duncan is at 80% compared to Melan’s 37%. Given the difference in opponent quality, you can assume that Duncan has significantly more knockout power.
Duncan’s three inch height advantage culminates in another ten or fifteen pounds of weight cut to make middleweight. Duncan is easily in the top ten percent of middleweights based on size.
Should Fight Camp Affect My Betting Pick?
Range MMA is home to only a few professional fighters. He has a TKD background and TKD coaches at his current gym. He’s been able to display his kicking technique often, landing spinning or flying kicks in four of his five professional bouts.
Kong Smashing Club appears to have only a few fighters, and Djati Melan may be the only active professional. It’s primarily a BJJ club, and not a kickboxing centered gym. I don’t believe either fighter has a significant training advantage, though it’s clear Duncan cross trains with various gyms in the U.K.
Cage Warriors 136 Predictions and Fight Tape
Melan has dominated the majority of his opponents in wrestling alone. His last three bouts have shown close wins, mostly via control time and not by opponent damage.
? Christian Duncan's spinning strikes are incredible!
? Is 2022 the year Duncan becomes Cage Warriors middleweight champion? pic.twitter.com/HrZ41OVW1Q
— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) January 24, 2022
Duncan’s striking techniques are reminiscent of Jon Jones. Spinning elbows and heel kicks coming from a big man can be devastating force, especially for fighters looking to trudge into clinch range.
Betting on Christian Duncan’s Ground Game
Duncan lost his first round with Kyle McClurkin in 2020 due to ground control. He was swept, had his back taken and narrowly defended a submission finish. Since then, he’s done a better job of quickly dispatching his opponents with first round finishes.
His wins over Khamzat Chimaev sparring partner Will Currie came as a surprise to me. Currie is a talented submission fighter scoring six ground finishes, and Duncan is the only fighter to beat him to date. I think after Duncan defeats Melan, Melan vs Currie will be the fight to make. Still, the Currie fights show just how advanced Duncan’s ground defense is, and what the cost of being smaller than Duncan can be.
Melan’s Striking Defense
Melan’s last three wins have been over moderate strikers. Eslam Baset had three knockouts wins, a 17% finishing percentage, but hadn’t faced anyone outside of his regional circuit. Robert Valentin is a 6-3 grappler and not much else, and the former champion Matthew Bonner has been known to falter against decent grapplers, like Mark Madsen or Fleminas.
It’s not that Melan has poor striking defense, it’s simply that he’s untested. Duncan will be the first fighter with real, flash knockout power that can also defend his takedown attempts.
CW 136 Main Event Pick Wrap Up
Melan is a good grappler, but hsi game will need to evolve as he continues to face top tier fighters, and he will likely make a move to welterweight long term. Duncan’s striking is the kind that will have him tested against larger organizations. Expect him in Bellator or DWCS before the year is out. If you have questions about how to best utilize our main event pick, consult the MMA guide.
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