33-Year-Old UFC Bantamweight 21-8-0
January 10, 2018 Bryan Caraway News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Caraway (shoulder) will face Cody Stamann in a bantamweight fight at UFC 222 on March 3, Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review Journal reports.
A shoulder injury has forced Caraway to withdraw from his last two scheduled fights, but he's set to return to the Octagon for the first time since May of 2016 as he takes on looks to hand Stamann his first loss in the UFC. Caraway, who is 6-2 under the UFC banner, has won two straight fights and four of his last five. The 33-year-old will have his hands full with the 28-year-old Stamann, who is coming off an upset win over Tom Duquesnoy at UFC 216 in October and is a rising talent in the 135-pound division.
Bryan Caraway: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Fantasy AnalysisCaraway will remain sidelined with a shoulder injury that has bothered him since his fight against Aljamain Sterling in May of 2016, as Soukhamthath will now face off against Luke Sanders next month. This injury has now caused him to withdraw from two events, as he was also scheduled to take on Jimmie Rivera in mid-January, but stepped down because of his ailing shoulder. It remains to be seen as to when he will be fully ready to go, but it sounds like Caraway will spend the next couple months in recovery.
Fantasy AnalysisCaraway injured his shoulder in his last fight -- a split decision win over Aljamain Sterling in May of 2016 -- but he's healthy and set to return to the Octagon after a 19-month layoff. The 33-year-old owns an overall record of 21-8 and had won four of his last five fights prior to injuring himself.
Fantasy AnalysisCaraway also implied that he injured himself in his last fight -- a split-decision victory over Aljamain Sterling -- and that he overtrained afterwards, not fully allowing the ailment to heal. He confirmed the news with an MRI, and eventually had no choice but to pull out 11 days before the fight. As the No. 5-ranked bantamweight that has won two straight, Caraway is deserving of a top-10 opponent once he regains his health. In the meantime, Marlon Vera will take his place at the Phoenix event.
Fantasy AnalysisSterling's poor effort is the biggest reason that Caraway won, but Kid Lightning deserves credit for rebounding after a dreadful first round. While Sterling faded as the fight progressed, Caraway got stronger. With the fight seemingly tied heading to Round 3, Caraway racked of a pair of easy takedowns and cruised to the finish line. Caraway is legitimately underrated, but he's not a top-five bantamweight and he's not better than Sterling, despite that fact that he deserved to win on Sunday. Caraway just doesn't possess the natural athletic skills to defeat the best fighters in the world.
Fantasy AnalysisIt’s be an impressive run for Caraway since his Strikeforce/WEC days came to an end, but he doesn’t have the skills to match up with the best bantamweights in the world. Caraway’s biggest advantage, his submission skills, figure to be largely negated by the wrestling and athletic ability of Sterling. Caraway is 5-2 in the UFC and is coming off an impressive unanimous decision win over Eddie Wineland last July, but Sterling is a different level opponent. While an upset isn’t totally out of the question, Caraway is a deserving hefty underdog here.
Fantasy AnalysisIn a fight that was contested almost entirely on the feet, Caraway did surprisingly well. He did land one takedown early, but that's all he could manage. Caraway looked comfortable striking and he didn't absorb much punishment. It was an impressive effort. Caraway isn't much of a title threat, but there's no reason he can't find himself in the back half of the top-10 of the UFC bantamweight division.