You are hereA Closer Look At Steve Burton Vs. John Antanitis:
A Closer Look At Steve Burton Vs. John Antanitis:
John Antanitis | Steve Burton
The number one deterrent for local fighters looking to compete in the NAAFS amateur tournament is that you will be looking at the possibility of fighting the best opponent available early and often. This is the fate that has fallen upon Penn Hills MMA product John Antanitis (6-3). He has been tasked with taking on Evolve’s Steve Burton (7-2) in a middleweight showdown that could easily be an early glimpse of the NAAFS finals in November.
The problem with that is it’s June and this is only Antanitis’ second fight within the promotion.
Burton was a runner up in last year’s middleweight finals and has only lost twice (both by decision) in his impressive run thus far.
Burton enters the cage with a brawling, grinding style that will push anyone in there with him to their limits and more often than not they fold under the pressure. Antanitis is a thinking man’s fighter, he’s has a well-rounded skill set and comes from one of the most respected teams in the Pittsburgh area. Both men have a common opponent in John Burbol (5-5) and both walked away with decision victories.
Let’s take a look after the jump:
Burton will push forward bell to bell and has some tricky set ups on the feet. He has a sharp right hand and a decent low kick that he uses when coming forward. He is built like a tank and can absorb just about anything heading in his direction. This accompanied with steady pressure and a relentless game plan of punch, shoot, hammerfist, repeat breaks most opponents down early.
On the feet, the guy who gets off first and stays the straightest (I am going to throw a good natured NoHomo In there) will have success. Burton tends to get a little wide late in the fight and Antanitis proved against Burbol he can not only survive on the feet but work effectively in an area that admittedly he trains but doesn’t use all that often . Depending on who gets there first and who gets hit less should win this category.
Antanitis is a jiu jitsu player and that is where this fight starts to gets interesting. Burton will push the fight right into John’s wheelhouse and it will be up to him to figure things out from there. Burton is great at avoiding submission attempts and will search for his own all the while chipping away with hammerfists and damn near anything else he can find. This will score him points on the ground and will force Antanitis to be busier when on his back. Adam Milstead couldn’t put Antanitis away which leads me to believe Burton will have a difficult time as well.
Time for some real talk:
Point blank: This fight is a toss-up and will come down to submission offense and/or defense. As I stated earlier, Burton’s typical gameplan of top heavy control on the ground will put him right inside of Antanitis’ gameplan of submission attacks from the floor and where that will lead no one really knows yet. The tough part for Antanitis is that if he is stuck on bottom for the majority of the rounds (and I am guessing he will be) Burton will be steadily scoring points by staying busy not to mention most judges still view the man on top as the one in control. This means he will have to be twice as active or extremely effective once from his back. The safe and logical choice is that Burton wins by top control decision but I’ve picked a bunch of decisions so I’ll go for the longer shot, what the hell right?
Antanitis via sub Rd. 3