#1 Worst: Duquesnoy in danger of not living up to the hype
Prior to his signing with the UFC in 2017, many observers and analysts were talking up young Frenchman Tom Duquesnoy as the best prospect in the world at 135lbs. Outside of a loss to current UFC fighter Makwan Amirkhani in 2013, Duquesnoy had largely dominated his opponents on the smaller circuit and he’d been a two-division champion – at Bantamweight and Featherweight – in the BAMMA promotion.
Duquesnoy looked good in his UFC debut last April, stopping Patrick Williams, but in October he was beaten pretty comfortably by fellow prospect Cody Stamman, who capitalised on the holes in the Frenchman’s wrestling game as well as a somewhat lacking gas tank.
Last night he was supposed to right the ship against Terrion Ware – who’d already lost to two prospects in Stamman and Sean O’Malley – and while he did win via decision, it was hardly convincing. Duquesnoy landed a lot of leg kicks, but the stats showed that Ware had the advantage in overall strikes landed, and he also controlled ‘Fire Kid’ on the ground whenever the fight went down. Personally, I scored the fight 29-28 for Ware.
So why isn’t Duquesnoy living up to the hype? The reasons could be two-fold. Firstly it appears that he might’ve become so used to dominating his foes on the smaller circuit that he’s finding more tricky opponents harder to adjust to. And secondly, it seems that his gas tank is well under par – he looked good in the first round last night but got very tired afterwards. Dan Hardy suggested that a move to 145lbs could help him, but that’s debatable as he doesn’t look huge at 135lbs.
Essentially, unless Duquesnoy can make the correct adjustments to deal with stronger opponents who won’t wilt under his admittedly skilled attack, he’s in danger of failing to live up to his potential, which would be a sad state of affairs.Published 18 Mar 2018, 16:55 IST