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UFC Fight Night 90: Dos Anjos vs Alvarez Breakdown

Dan Tom

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McBryde Mats - LargeThis UFC Fight Night 90: Dos Anjos vs Alvarez Breakdown is brought to you by McBryde Mats – All American – Quality Mats & Accessories for MMA, BJJ, Wrestling, Gymnastics and much more. 

 

Rafa4

Rafael Dos Anjos (25-7)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’7″ Age: 31 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 71″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Donald Cerrone (12-19-15)
  • Camp: Kings MMA (California)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Muay Thai
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   UFC Lightweight Champion
+   BJJ Black Belt
+   5 KO victories
+   8 first round finishes
+   8 Submission wins
+   KO Power
+   Disciplined w/pace & pressure
^   Aggressive but intelligent striking
+   Hard & accurate left kicks
^   Favors body & inside leg kicks
+   Solid left hand-right hook
^   Variates well to the body
+   Improved takedown ability
+   Strong top game
^   Smashes & passes effectively
–    Struggles with wrestling pressure

 

Eddie1

Eddie Alvarez (27-4)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 32 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 69″
  • Last Fight: SD win / Anthony Pettis (1-17-16)
  • Camp: Mark Henry & Co. (New Jersey)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Former Bellator Lightweight Champ
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   16 TKO victories
+   13 first round finishes
+   5 Submission wins
+   Good cardio & conditioning
^   Excellent recoverability
+   Underrated wrestling ability
^   Favors takedowns off the cage
+   Accurate right hand/uppercut
^   Often setup w/darts & crouches
+   Quick shifting/lateral footwork
–    Lacks leg checks/defense
–    Low hand position/strike retraction
^   Counter availabilities
–    Dropped/stunned in 7 of last 10 fights

Summary:

The first main event for UFC Fight Week is a big one as Rafael Dos Anjos defends his title against Eddie Alvarez. With his only loss in the last five years coming at the hands of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dos Anjos has steadily climbed his way to the top of the division. Looking especially good as of late, Dos Anjos will attempt to cement his supremacy amongst the historically most stacked division in MMA. Once again embracing the underdog status is Eddie Alvarez, as the former Bellator champion looks to capture the one title that has eluded him thus far in his career.

If you are not already condemning me for my pick, let me first state that I came into this match up leaning heavily toward Dos Anjos as I feel he is the justified favorite. However, after diving into the history of each man, I found some potential flags that lead me to believe this is closer to a “pick’em” fight as I feel the line is off here. Although I have no problem conceding to the narrative that Dos Anjos can get this done decisively, I feel that writing off a fighter like Alvarez’s chances in this matchup could be a dangerous thing do. Regardless of who you like in this fight, I will attempt to provide some counterpoints worth considerings as I explain why I am siding with the underdog.

It is easy to see why the betting lines and narratives seem slanted in this matchup given our propensity for short-term memory and surface level value in MMA. You have one fighter in Rafael Dos Anjos, who minus one hiccup, has looked like nothing short of a wrecking machine in the last few years. That said, one could argue that many of his recent victories also came over stylistically favorable matchups mixed with odd performances by his opposition(Diaz, Cerrone, & Pettis). Then you have another fighter in Eddie Alvarez, who after a long-awaited contract dispute made his way into the UFC with deceivingly unimpressive performances. But again, you could argue that this was due to tough matchups accompanied with circumstantial intangibles(From the layoff to debut against Cowboy, to the altitude & altered vision against Melendez).

I do not mean to insinuate nor take anything away from the fighters or fights mentioned above, but I do feel it is an important reminder of how looks can be deceiving. The fight game does not care about betting favorites or hype, as we have all been confounded by the results of this sport time-and-time again. That said, I will be breaking down this matchup the same way I do the rest, by using in-cage evidence to forecast how these styles may collide.

In the striking department, there is a lot to like from the champion Rafael Dos Anjos. Under the tutelage of Rafael Cordeiro, we have seen RDA develop into a full-fledged southpaw threat. Showing a natural ability to kick with force, Dos Anjos has steadily refined his technique & timing as he favors shots to the liver and inside leg with precision. Applying his underrated technique and timing to his hands, RDA has also sharpened his cross-hook combinations as he variates them well to the body. Traditionally being the shorter man, Dos Anjos relies on his foot speed and ability to out-move his opponents, which is what makes this particular matchup so interesting.

Despite Rafael’s disciplined footwork and deceptive distance closing abilities, he will be facing one of the better lateral-movers in the division. With a style of footwork rooted from boxing, Alvarez demonstrates a solid understanding of angles and movement. Often operating out of a crouch(weight low & heavy over the power side), Alvarez will exercise his options of countering inside or stepping off to his left by utilizing a dart(in a similar fashion to Dominick Cruz). Although Alvarez has been more conservative in his approach as of late, he still consistently circles and steps to his left side. Moving left will come in handy for Alvarez as this leads him away from the power side of Dos Anjos’ attacks.

That said, Eddie’s propensity to move left coupled with his low-handed standing guard has traditionally cost him right-hand counters in his fights. In fact, Alvarez has been dropped or stunned in 7 of 10 of his last fights with right-hands often being the common culprit. Although most of RDA’s danger lies in his left side, the Brazilian throws an underrated right hook that I see being the biggest threat to Alvarez. However, most of the champion’s checkmarks in regards to striking reside within the offensive aspects of this fight. As impressive as those offensive improvements are, I am not so certain RDA has improved in the same ways defensively.

Even though Dos Anjos is the one who is usually pursuing, he will typically revert to a shell defense when under pressure. Although improved head & foot movement assists his defensive efforts, the shell RDA utilizes traditionally leaves openings for body shots & uppercuts. Despite Alvarez not showing the pressure fighting he was renown for earlier in his career, he still lands a solid 3.27 strikes per minute(surprisingly just above the champion). And considering that the uppercut is Eddie’s most dangerous punch, this could be a factor that rears it head in this fight.

Aside from the obvious possibility of Dos Anjos catching Alvarez in the early going, I feel that the wrestling exchanges should be a key factor in this fights outcome. Both fighters have shown a recent trend in solidifying rounds with takedowns & activity, which should make the wrestling battles even more competitive. Although Dos Anjos has made improvements to his offensive wrestling, I am not certain he has made the same strides defensively. Though most point to RDA’s shortcomings against Khabib as an outlying performance amongst his sample size(and I’d agree), Dos Anjos has still shown he can be taken down prior to and since that performance.

Even though Dos Anjos was able to immediately get back to his feet, the only two fighters who have tried to take down RDA since Nurmagomedov were both successful(Jason High and a tired Anthony Pettis in the 4th round). That said, it is hard to get a clear sense of Dos Anjos’ takedown defense considering his stylistic matchups since Khabib. Although Alvarez is no Nurmagomedov, he is an underrated wrestler as he demonstrates solid takedown chains that could pose problems for the champion. Although Dos Anjos displays good defense from the fence that could contest this, his aggression has shown to make him vulnerable to reactive shots in the open. With Alvarez spending the better part of this last year working his wrestling and MMA game with Frankie Edgar & company, I expect Eddie will look to exploit these opportunities should they arise. I also have a hard time seeing RDA grounding Eddie with consistency given Alvarez’s takedown defense rate of 91% (not to mention that he scrambles well back to his feet).

Ultimately, I feel that the entire camp of Mark Henry & company could be a crucial fit for a “wrestle-box” type fighter like Alvarez. Although Alvarez enjoyed his time with the Blackzilians down in South Florida, he stated that it wasn’t quite the right fit for him. After extensive work in New Jersey for this extended camp, we may see a new & resurgent Alvarez. In my opinion, Eddie’s camp adjustments coupled with his proven gameness give him an intangible edge in this battle. Even though I concede Dos Anjos as the justified favorite, this has all the signs of a trap fight as I recommend caution playing this one.

Official Pick: Alvarez – Decision

 

Roy1

Roy Nelson (21-12)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 40 Weight: 249 lbs Reach: 73″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Jared Rosholt (2-6-16)
  • Camp: Xtreme Couture MMA (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   IFL HW & Grand Prix Titles
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   14 KO victories
+   13 first round finishes
+   5 Submission wins

 

Lewis1

Derrick Lewis (15-4)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’3″ Age: 31 Weight: 264 lbs Reach: 79″
  • Last Fight: KO win / Gabriel Gonzaga (4-10-16)
  • Camp: Silverback Fight Club (Texas)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   All Wins via stoppage
+   14 KO victories
+   7 first round finishes
+   1 Submission win

Summary:

*STATED BIAS: Due to my affiliation with Xtreme Couture MMA I will be opting out of analyzing this matchup as Roy Nelson has spent the duration of his camp there. I apologize for shorting you a breakdown on the main card, but I hope you understand my stance and effort for professionalism.

Official Pick: *Nelson – Inside the distance

 

Jouban2

Alan Jouban (13-4)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 33 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 74″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Brendan O’Reilly (3-19-16)
  • Camp: Black House MMA (California)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Brown Belt BJJ
+   Muay Thai Base
+   10 KO victories
+   7 first round finishes
+   Solid combination striker
^   Variates to the body well
+   Accurate counter left hand
+   Dangerous liver kick
+   Underrated wrestling
+   Crafty guard game
+   Scrambles well to his feet
+/-Sometimes starts slow
^   Often hit early/recovers well

 

Belal1

Belal Muhammad (9-0)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 27 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 74″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Steve Carl (4-30-16)
  • Camp: Roufusport (Chicago, IL)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good

Supplemental info:
+   Titan FC Welterweight Champion
+   Blue Belt BJJ
+   3 KO victories
+   1 first round finish
+   Good feints & footwork
^   Manages distance well
+   Puts together punches well
^   Variates to the body
+   Hard leg kicks
+   Solid double-leg takedown
+   Competent positional grappler
^   Transitions well
+/-Debuting on 3-weeks notice

Summary:

A sleeper candidate for a fight of the night bonus, the always exciting Alan Jouban welcomes Belal Muhammad to the UFC. One of the organizations usual suspects for performance bonuses, Jouban brings gameness and excitement no matter how dangerous the opposition. Originally slated to face Nordine Taleb, Alan will instead face a replacement just as talented in Belal Muhammad. Although taking this fight on 3-weeks notice, the recently crowned Titan FC champion has been in prior contact with the UFC and is more than ready to make his debut.

Coming from a wrestling base, Belal has shown consistent fight-to-fight improvements in all areas of his game, particularly his striking. Doing a great job of keeping his feet underneath him, Muhammad can stalk or counter with nearly equal effectiveness. Coupling his abilities to manage distance with his fight IQ, Muhammad intelligently works with what his opponent gives him as he steadily takes the steering wheel in his fights. Although his hard leg kicks have helped punctuate recent performances, I feel that Muhammad’s left hand may serve him especially well against Jouban.

Wielding consistent volume with his left jabs & hooks, Muhammad fundamentally follows-up his strikes accordingly. Deceptively accurate with his left hand, he could catch and or disrupt Alan’s attacks. Often in mid-exchange or when throwing from his left side, Jouban’s right hand/guard tends to drop as this can open him up to left hooks(as seen is his fight with Seth Baczynski). Positive points to his game aside, there are still many questions that need to be answered by Muhammad. In watching footage on Belal from the last few years, I could not find instances of how he reacts to being hurt as he carries a solid poker face and is seldom significantly hit.

Although I do not doubt that Belal can overcome adversity, it is nice to see a fighter thoroughly tested in that department before making their UFC debut against a firestorm like Alan Jouban. That said, despite Alan’s fast finishing fights, he tends to start slightly slow as he is usually susceptible to getting hit early. Even though Belal is a bit of a slow burn himself, he has recently stated in interviews that he recognizes Alan’s trend and intends to come on fast. With that being noted, I feel that pressure fighting will be a key factor in this fight. And not just who is pressuring, but more importantly, how the opposing fighter reacts to said pressure.

Despite Jouban’s style being shown to make clear pathways for pressure fighters, we have seen him successfully ride storms time-and-time again due to his ability to capitalize in the chaos. Although this style of operation is a two-way street, Alan will likely need to create such chaos if he means to take Muhammad into unfamiliar territory. With this being Jouban’s seventh fight with the UFC, this is the type of matchup where he will need to embrace his growing veteran status. Although you may not be familiar with the name Belal Muhammad, you will likely remember it after this fight as I suggest you stay away from playing this one. That said, my pick is Jouban as I feel his output and experience will earn him the more favorable terms of fighting.

Official Pick: Jouban – Decision

 

Duffy2

Joseph Duffy (14-2)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 28 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 73″
  • Last Fight: Decision loss / Dustin Poirier (1-2-16)
  • Camp: Tristar Gym (Canada/Ireland)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Boxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   Jiu-jitsu & TKD Black Belt
+   Blue Belt BJJ
+   7-0 as a pro boxer
+   4 TKO victories
+   9 Submission wins
+   12 first round finishes
+   Excellent head movement
^   Good striking economy off movement
+   Deceptive speed changes
+   Accurate left-hook & jab
+   Favors leading with his left side
^   Fast switch kicks & shuffle knees
+   Solid guard game
+   Well versed in submissions
^   Dangerous in the scramble
–    Lacks leg checks

 

Clarke1

Mitch Clarke (11-3)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 30 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 73″
  • Last Fight: Decision loss / Michael Chiesa (4-4-15)
  • Camp: Jackson-Wink MMA (Canada/New Mexico)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   Brown Belt BJJ
+   Wrestling Base
+   1 TKO victories
+   7 Submission wins
+   3 first round finishes
+   Good pace & pressure
+   Improved striking
^   Defensively & offensively
+   Strong pressure against fence
+   Aggressive takedown game
^   Favors single-leg variations
+   Solid transitional grappler
^   Crafty in the scramble
+/-Often turtles to stand
^   Back-take vulnerabilities
–    Often Succeeds bottom position

Summary:

In the always exciting lightweight division, “Irish” Joe Duffy takes on Mitch “Danger Zone” Clarke. Coming off a hard-fought loss to Dustin Poirier earlier this year, the Tristar transplant will look to rebound with a victory here. Standing in his way is Mitch Clarke, who is also looking to get back on track after a tough loss to Michael Chiesa last year.

Despite injuries keeping Clarke to just 3-fights in the past 4-years, the Canadian fighter has still managed to work hard and steadily improve fight-to-fight. With many of those improvements coming from his camps at the MMA Lab, Mitch has spent this training camp down in New Mexico at Jackson-Wink MMA. It will be interesting to see what gameplan Greg Jackson & company employ, although, for me, Clarke’s path in this fight should be an obvious one.

Although Mitch has demonstrated improvements to his offensive & defensive game standing, I don’t feel his footwork & combinations will be on par with Joe Duffy as I give the Irishman a clear striking advantage. Not just a technically diverse and sharp striker, it is Duffy’s deceptive speed changes that make him so dangerous as I feel that will be a key factor in this fight. Subtly setting a perceived rhythm, Joseph will lull his opposition into a false sense of security before exploding and intercepting with accuracy.

Even though Clarke will have to be careful of the former boxer’s crafty jabs & hooks, the Canadian may find some success in the kicking department. Despite Duffy operating well offensively out of a boxing stance, he traditionally suffers defensively in regards to leg kicks. With that being a common side-effect from that stance, the heavy-legged Clarke could capitalize here and dissuade some of the Irishman’s movement. Ultimately, the Canadian’s best chances lie within getting Duffy to the ground.

A durable grappler with an aggressive takedown game, Clarke poses the stylistic puzzle pieces that could prove very troublesome for a fighter like Duffy. That said, the Canadian holds a 19% takedown success rate as he’s gone 3-for-16 in attempts over the last 5-years. When able to steer his opponents to the fence, Mitch displays a solid ability to chain together his favored single-leg variations. However, Clarke often lacks the executing explosion to turn his corners and finish his takedowns.

Regardless of whether Mitch finds wrestling success or not, it is the manner in which Duffy reacts to the pressure that will decide this fight. Although pressure fighting and wrestling were a clear path in Duffy’s last defeat, I don’t think we should be too quick to condemn him on that performance given his opposition. An underrated grappler and improved wrestler, Dustin Poirier was able to control Duffy particularly well against the fence.

Although Dustin did his part technically to ensure the fight stayed there, Duffy’s willingness to fight off his back was troubling. If Duffy does not adjust the approach in his get-up urgency, Clarke may be able to climb into his game and perhaps even steal a round. Even though Duffy displayed serviceable takedown defense before entering the UFC, I feel Clarke’s pressure will give us a good look at where the Irishman’s skillsets lay. Ultimately, I believe Duffy’s footwork and movement will limit Clarke’s availability for takedowns as his speed and accuracy will likely be too much.

Official Pick: Duffy – Inside the distance

 

Pyle2

Mike Pyle (27-11-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’1″ Age: 40 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 74″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Sean Spencer (2-6-16)
  • Camp: Syndicate MMA (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   WEC Welterweight Title
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   7 KO victories
+   15 first round finishes
+   16 Submission wins
+   KO Power
+   Veteran composure & craft
^   Looks to counter & capitalize
+   Dangerous right-hand/elbows
+   Strong overall clinch game
^   Knees, trips, & throws
+   Excellent positional rides
^   Strikes, presses, progresses
+   Active & offensive guard
–    Head often upright in retreat
^   Follow-up opportunities

 

Mina1

Alberto Mina (12-0)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 34 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 77.5″
  • Last Fight: SD win / Yoshihiro Akiyama (11-28-15)
  • Camp: Epic MMA (Hong Kong)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   Black Belt BJJ & Judo
+   Multiple Grappling Accolades
+   9 first round finishes
+   6 Submission wins
+   5 KO victories
+   Steadily improved striking
^   Favors left hook-right hand
+/-Decent level change on double
^   Lacks takedown setups
+   Dangerous transitional grappler
+   Solid from figure-4/Kimura grip
^   Aggressive armbar setups
–    Head high off strikes
^   Counter availabilities
+/-2 fights in 3 years

Summary:

Kicking off the main card on UFC Fight Pass is a fantastic welterweight matchup as undefeated Alberto Mina takes on the dangerous veteran Mike Pyle.

Although a veteran of martial arts himself, Alberto Mina has had a very measured approach to his MMA career. Only fighting three times in the past five years, Alberto will look to cement his presence amongst the UFC’s welterweight division. Standing in the Brazilian’s way is his toughest test to date, as he draws the always dangerous Mike Pyle. The term “crafty veteran” is an overused one in MMA, but that term has no better poster child than Mike Pyle. Although he is far from a child at forty years of age, the oldest active fighter in the division will be out to prove once again that he is still one of the most well-rounded & dangerous in the game.

Studying Judo & Brazilian Jiu-jitsu from a young age, Alberto Mina has shown to be more than just a Jiu-jitsu champion inside the cage. Despite not fighting with consistency throughout his career, Mina shows a surprising amount of craft and composure in his fight game. Demonstrating steady improvements to his striking, Alberto displays competency at multiple ranges. Putting his frame to good use, Mina stays long with his punches as he mixes in healthy looks of kicks and knees. Although Alberto does not appear to be a power puncher, he is deceptively effective with his technique and timing as he seemingly capitalizes at the correct times.

A steadily evolved striker himself, Mike Pyle’s arsenal of attacks have come into their own late in his career. Showing improved movement and awareness inside the pocket, we have seen Pyle’s right hand consistently deliver damage in his fights. Although craft inside the clinch is something he is renown for, Mike has recently thrown knees & elbows into the fold that have rounded out his offense with great effect. Although I feel Pyle is the more technically skilled fighter on the feet, there may be key areas he could be vulnerable to in this fight.

Despite retracting his right-hand high, Pyle tends to get hit with follow-up left(and right) hands due to his natural upright posture in retreat. With that said, I feel that Alberto’s left hook may come into play being that that’s his most accurate punch. However, the Brazilian bears similar defensive openings of his own as he tends to keep his head high coming off of his strikes. Although Alberto has a decent sense of avoiding counters, relying too heavily on his length could cost him in this contest.

Despite the majority of Mina’s finishes coming on the floor, I doubt he will have the same superiority in this match regardless of his accolades. Well-rounded, underrated, and crafty are all gross understatements on Mike Pyle’s ground game. Now I am not saying his game is beyond reproach, but for a guy with no official ranks or accolades, he is one of the best you will find. Where most ground specialists still require specific conditions for their game to be effective(Top players, Guard Players, Scramblers, etc.), Pyle can operate competently and comfortably from all positions. Whether he is chaining his submissions to his sweeps or stealing souls with his positional riding abilities, Pyle more than possesses the skills to compete with Mina.

Furthermore, I feel Pyle’s chances will grow in the grappling department if he is the one deciding it’s terms. Despite an improved double -leg entry, Mina traditionally shoots without any punch setups or feints. Although his aggressive attitude to get after it has often rewarded him ground stanzas, Alberto’s approach has been less effective against higher-level competition. Considering he is facing one of the more notoriously hard guys to get down, I feel the wrestling acumen of Pyle will likely dictate initial exchanges.

My ultimate assessment of this matchup is that the areas in which Mina favors to win fights are the same areas that Pyle specializes in. Whether it’s clinch fighting, guard playing, or figure-4 gripping, I feel that Pyle is much more versatile and proven in these positions. Even though Alberto has seemingly found ways to win his fights thus far, I believe that Pyle presents a matchup that can audit Alberto’s inconsistent activity & arsenal. Unless Mina can catch Pyle and get him out of there early, then the Brazilian may ultimately find himself in quicksand the longer this one goes.

Official Pick: Pyle – Decision

Preliminary Card Predictions:

  • Baghdad def. Makdessi
  • Birchak def. Lopes
  • Munhoz def. Doane
  • Arantes def. Sanders
  • Burns def. Sajewski
  • Vieira def. Beltran
  • Luque def. Herrera

Recommended Plays:

Draft Kings Rosters:

 

Team #1: $48,300.00

-Joseph Duffy ($11,100.00)
-Mike Pyle ($9,900.00)
-Roy Nelson ($9,800.00)
-Medhi Baghdad ($8,900.00)
-Eddie Alvarez ($8,600.00)

Team Summary:

Joseph Duffy, Roy Nelson, and Mike Pyle are all, in my opinion, slightly favored in matches that carry high probabilities in point scoring. In efforts to balance the budget with live underdogs, I went with Medhi Baghdad and Eddie Alvarez. I feel that Baghdad will be a bad matchup for Makdessi as he is longer, more versatile, and overall more dangerous as a striker. Coming in healthy and with a full camp, I expect Baghdad to score an upset over Makdessi(who has been contemplating retirement). Finally, in sticking to my argument above, I feel Eddie Alvarez will get you the most bang for you buck as far as low tier picks go.

Team #2: $49,900.00

-Joseph Duffy ($11,100.00)
-Rafael Dos Anjos ($11,000.00)
-Pedro Munhoz ($10,400.00)
-Medhi Baghdad ($8,900.00)
-Alvaro Herrera ($8,500.00)

Team Summary:

If you don’t agree with my optimism on Alvarez, I can hardly blame you given how good Rafael Dos Anjos has looked as of late. That said, here is a line-up that includes the champion to go along with the high-tier picks of Joseph Duffy and Pedro Munhoz. Munhoz is a talented and well-rounded fighter, who is also slightly favored in a match with a high probability of point scoring. To round out the budget of this team with live underdogs, I elected to go with the previously mentioned Medhi Baghdad, as well as Alvaro Herrera. Although I officially picked Luque to win, I feel that the asking price is a bit off base. Despite Luque being the more well-rounded and experienced fighter, he is still very hittable and arguably undersized for the division. Herrera is raw, but he packs real power that could play a factor in the fight.

Props worth looking at(5Dimes.eu):

-Burns/Sajewski over 2 1/2: -170 (1 Unit)
-Alan Jouban by Decision: +255 (.05 Unit)
-Roy Nelson by TKO/KO: +135 (.05 Unit)
-Medhi Bagdad ITD: +385 (.25 Unit)
-Eddie Alvarez – by Decision: +610 (.25 Unit)

Playable favorites for your parlays:

-Pedro Munhoz
-Joseph Duffy
-Gilbert Burns

Fights to avoid:

-Marco Beltran vs Reginaldo Vieira
-Vincente Luque vs Alvaro Herrera
-Felipe Arantes vs Jerrod Sanders

For the complete analysis of future & past UFC events visit MixedMartialAnalyst.com and for future breakdowns & your latest in world-wide MMA news, stay tuned & follow @MMALatestnws MMALatestNews.com

Onnit Primal Bells

Announcement

Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”

Harry Davies

Published

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MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.

Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.


Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?

I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.

Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?

I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened.  They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.

Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of  Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?

I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.

It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.

Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?

I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.

I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.

Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!

 

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IMMAF

2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures

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After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot  in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.

Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.

Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.

At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.

For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.

Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.

Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:

  • Michele Oliveira  vs.  Danni Neilan 125 lbs
  • Anna Astvik  vs.  Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
  • Chamia Chabbi  vs.  Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
  • C. McCrudden  vs.  Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
  • Gase Sanita  vs.  Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
  • Yernaz Mussabek  vs.  Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
  • Gamzat Magomedov  vs.  O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
  • Joel Arolainen  vs.  Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
  • V. Andruhovich  vs.  Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
  • Sola Axel  vs.  Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
  • B. Haraldsson  vs.  Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
  • Pavel Pahomenko  vs.  Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
  • Irman Smajic  vs.  Lev Vins 265 lbs
  • Atanas Krastanov  vs.  Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
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Why It’s Time to Cherish Michael Bisping and Stop the Hate

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Ever since the Ultimate Fighter 3, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping has been one of the most hated fighters on the UFC roster. Since he was painted as the big bad Brit against the American hero Dan Henderson, Bisping has been the villain. He has played up to the reputation of being one of the biggest heels in the UFC, with his arrogance, trash talk and often disrespectful attitude.

But nothing has summed up Michael Bisping more than the events of this past week. After losing his Middleweight Championship to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217, no one would blame Bisping for wanting a few months on the couch whilst sinking a few beers before retiring at UFC London in March.

After hearing that Anderson Silva had tested positive for a banned substance, it was announced that Bisping would fill in for Silva to face Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai. A fight that nobody else would have wanted. A fight that he has less than three weeks to prepare for.

The fight does nothing for Bisping. Gastelum is a rising, rejuvenated contender and Bisping knows he can not take him lightly. But he’s also seven places below him in the rankings. Although, this doesn’t matter anymore as Bisping has announced this will be his second to last fight ever before hanging up his gloves.

Nothing sums Bisping up better than his comment on Gastelum’s Instagram post “See you in China. Loser buys the beers”.

He sounds relaxed. Perhaps he’s enjoying his last two fights and is at peace with his impending retirement.

In an era all about money, fighters like Bisping are rare and hard to come by. Fighters that only care about one thing, fighting.

Sure, his title reign wasn’t the best. But the UFC offered him the Henderson fight, to bring back some feeling of nostalgia that has been missing in the modern times of the UFC. And who in their right mind wouldn’t want to face one of the greatest ever in GSP.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JULY 17: Michael Bisping of England steps on the scale during the UFC weigh-in inside the SSE Hydro on July 17, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

It’s easy to forget amongst all the trash talk that Bisping has always played by the rules, and been anti PEDs during a time when a majority of the roster was using some form of performance enhancers. Fighting PED users has given Bisping most of his losses and has even led to him losing sight in one of his eyes.

Most of Bisping’s outrageous acts, have been him using a ‘pro wrestling’ act in order to hype up his fights and put bums in seats. That isn’t an excuse for some of his obnoxious behaviour. But when he’s not in the zone, it’s clear to see what a respectful and humble man he is. Like his moment after UFC 217, where he approached Cody Garbrandt to tell him how proud he was of him, or his post fight respect for Anderson Silva, where they both bowed on their knees to one another.

This is me and Anderson exchanging respect while being attended to by the doctors.

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The truth is, Bisping is an incredible ambassador of the sport and one of the pioneers across the pond.

Bisping should be remembered and appreciated as the workhorse warrior who brought absolutely everything he had to the cage every time he fought. He always comes to fight, whether it’s three weeks notice or more. He’s simply tough as hell.

Believe you me Michael Bisping is a true old school legend of this sport and should be cherished whilst we still have him, cause we will miss him when he’s gone.

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