Octagon Oracles: Tresean Gore

Grade: B+

After a knee injury forced him to withdraw from the finals of The Ultimate Fighter Season 28, Tresean Gore will finally get his UFC opportunity on Saturday night against season winner Bryan Battle.

Officially 3-0 as a professional, Gore also defeated Ryder Newman by decision and finished Gilbert Urbina (who filled in for Gore in the finals) while competing on TUF. His career has been a little bit stop and start thus far; he was scheduled to turn pro in 2017 but several fight cancellations delayed his pro debut until March 2018. After two wins that year his next fight wasn’t until March 2020, but the twenty-seven year old also had a 3-1 amateur career and hasn’t lost a fight since his amateur debut in 2014.

“Mr. Vicious” is most comfortable when the fight is standing, and prefers to control the center of the cage and stalk his opponents as they circle on the outside. He’s not a particularly high-output striker, but he usually makes the most of the strikes he does throw. He has a solid jab and throws hard leg kicks, and when he uses the two in combination like in his pro debut against Prince Ellerbe they can cause a lot of problems for his opponents. Gore’s power shots don’t typically come when he’s leading, but his counter-striking is arguably his most dangerous weapon on the feet. He times his counter-right straight particularly well as opponents come in, but he showed off power in his lead hand as well with the three knockdowns he scored against Gilbert Urbina.

Any questions I may have about Gore at this point come down mainly to his relative inexperience and the level of competition he’s faced thus far. Two of his three pre-TUF opponents were making their pro debuts, and when he fought 1-0 LJ Jones the two men had a back and forth first round before Jones was unable to come out for the second round due to a leg injury. Middleweight is probably one of the UFC’s more forgiving divisions as far as allowing Gore to gain experience on the job, and he certainly looked good in his two TUF bouts.

While it’s a shame that Gore wasn’t able to compete on the finals of TUF, the UFC have made a good call to reschedule the matchup with Battle for Gore’s promotional debut. Battle will almost certainly be the higher output fighter, but Gore will be comfortable looking for the counter shots that allowed him to finish Gilbert Urbina in their fight. I’ll be curious to see how Gore is able to match up with UFC middleweights that will test his grappling a bit more and strikers that will really push a pace on him, but overall I like what I’ve seen so far and think he can develop well with proper matchmaking.

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