The biggest fight not on UFC 200, Rory vs Stephen is a very interesting fight. The X-factor here is an interesting one and question of durability and rebuilding after a lose. Rory has an interesting set of question he needs to answer for himself on the night of his bout. Rorys last bout against Robbie was a war between to heavy hitting martial artist. Rory took damage that hast been seen for years at that level or since Pride or NHB. It looked very old skool with beautiful at the same time. Okay enough of my happy martial arts thoughts. Okay so this fight is interesting because Rorys chin may or may not be the same since Robbie and him went to battle. That’s a slippery spot to be in if it is real. So that being said if it really is true then against Wonderboy it could be an issue if Stephen can slip his shots in on Rory. The issue is Rory is not a some passive fighter nope hes a lethal accurate highly skilled striker with wrestling built behind his jab and such strikes. Wonder Boy isn’t an offensive but defensive wrestler that is the lethal of lethal strikers. The problem or added X factor is the fact that they were training partners for some time along with learning from GSP. Now add in that Raymond Daniels is training with him now as well. Questions and more questions, will only be answered come fight time.
Personally on paper its Rory if hes back to his normal self or surpassed it, he has the better tools all around and this style of PKA based horse stance striking isn’t new to him because of GSP Wonderboy himself and Raymond Daniels as well. The base to beating a PKA flash long range striker is to take the Nieky Holzken approach from the Dutch. Leg kick high guard and chop chop chop and when they start to slow down he blast the head like Tyson get back to a high guard and continue the long tradition of leg chopping that sent PKA into obscurity in the minds of many martial artist. Now that’s Rory’s path on the feet on the ground he will probably float on him point blank.
For Wonder Boy, this fight is purely and at its core for him about staying at range and letting loose with his lead arm and lead leg. Staying centric to what he does well with well timed kicks and whipping kicks such as his lead hook kick and hell kicks will keep Rory back and away. Timing is very important because if Rory feints and Stephen bites and throws one of those balanced based kicks Rory could catch and angle and drag Wonderboy to the mat (think Meisha Tates last ditch Take Down effort on Holly). If he has a similar show like his Ellen-berger performance he could pull off the win. If he engages in the murky water of grappling with Rory he will get taken down because unlike Hendricks Rory is not just a wrestler, he might then get subbed out.