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UFC on FOX “Prelim Spotlight”: Saffiedine vs Ellenberger Breakdown

Dan Tom

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Tarec2

Tarec Saffiedine (15-4)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’9″ Age: 29 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 70.5″
  • Last Fight: TKO loss / Rory Macdonald (10-4-14)
  • Camp: Tristar Gym (Canada)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Switch-stance / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good

Supplemental info:
+   Strikeforce Welterweight Title
+   Black Belt in Karate & BJJ
+   Amateur Kickboxing experience (12-1-1)
+   5 first round finishes
+   5 Submission wins
+   Good distance management
^   Moves well laterally
+   Disciplined striking defense
^   Head moves well of strikes
+   Effective jab from both stances
^   Conducts tempo/sets up kicks
+   Superb leg kick timing
+   Underrated counter wrestling
^   86% takedown defense
+   Solid defensive grappling & get-up acuity
+/-Consistently fights along fence
–    2 fights in the last 3 years

Jake3

Jake Ellenberger (30-10)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’9″ Age: 30 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 73″
  • Last Fight: KO loss / Stephen Thompson (7-12-15)
  • Camp: Kings MMA (California)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   Wrestling Base
+   Purple Belt BJJ
+   20 KO victories
+   13 first round finishes
+   4 Submission wins
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Aggressive power double takedown
+   Strong inside the clinch
^   Difficult to takedown/control
+   Underrated submission game
+   Effective ground striker
+   Devastating right hand
^   Favors overhands & hooks
–    Often throws himself out of position
–    Subject to activity lulls
–    1 win in 3 yrs. (lost 4 of last 5)

Summary:

Headlining the preliminary card for “UFC on FOX” is an interesting styles matchup between Tarec Saffiedine and Jake Ellenberger. With this fight originally scheduled back in Januaruary of 2014, MMA’s history has its own funny way of repeating itself. As both men are looking to bounce back from devastating losses, expect a potential pressure cooker of expectation and execution. Fights like this can either bring out the best performances or promote conservative approaches. Sometimes subject to activity lulls, it will be important for Ellenberger to establish himself early physically & mentally. Now back with Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA, Jake is in great hands to find the balance that he’s spent the last few years looking for.

It will be interesting to see what adjustments are made for Jake, but hopefully, it involves the aggression that got him to the dance. With a distinct power advantage over Saffiedine and most of the division, Ellenberger is deadly when committing punches to his improved footwork. In my opinion, Tarec is a more technical striker, but putting power behind solid pressure could level the playing field for Jake. Especially during Saffiedines stance switching, Ellenberger could find opportune times to blitz. As we saw in Tarec’s last fight, Rory Macdonald masterfully utilized his long jab to disrupt Saffiedines rhythm upon stance changes. However, Jake does not possess the same frame or skillset as Rory, and will be heavily reliant on his instincts & movement.

Ellenberger will also have to be careful not to let his aggression work against him, as he’ll often throw himself out of position in an effort to follow up. A seasoned striker like Saffiedine will consume healthy servings like these as they’re given. Where I see Ellenberger having issues(in regards to standing with Tarec), is the preemptive plots in which he loads his shots. Despite parlaying this second nature movement into feints, Jake could inadvertently give cues for Saffiedine to work with. Not to mention, these feints are strongly up, down, and forward based. Which will heavily load weight to the front foot, and, in turn, puts legs on a silver platter for strikers like Saffiedine.

If Jake can’t get off early & often, Tarec’s well-timed leg kicks could heavily disruptThe Juggernaut’s” advances. Ellenberger’s best chance to hedge his bets will be by mixing in his wrestling game. Wielding an explosive power double takedown, the mere threat could at the very least open up strikes. Jake also possesses hard ground strikes and an underrated submission game. That being said, Saffiedine demonstrates great instincts off his back with a shown get-up acuity. And with some underrated counter wrestling of his own, it won’t be a path easily accomplished for Ellenberger. Although Jake’s said camp changes prove interesting, the same can be said for Saffiedine as he’s spent this camp at Tristar in Canada. Unless Jake commits to wrestling Tarec to the fence, I ultimately see the technical discipline of the Belgian native paying off.

Official Pick: Saffiedine – Decision

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • Saffiedine def. Ellenberger
  • Mercier def. Ferreira
  • Natal def. Casey
  • Ortiz def. Reis
  • Yakovlev def. Sullivan
  • Caceres def. Fullen
  • Brown def. Dwyer
  • Makashvili def. Jackson
  • Martin def. Olivieri

Recommended Plays

Pieces for your parlay:

-Jimmie Rivera
-Tarec Saffiedine
-Rafael Natal

Props worth looking at:

-Bryan Barberena – Inside the distance
-Randy Brown- by KO/TKO
-Jimmie Rivera – by Decision

Fights to avoid:

-Ben Rothwell vs Josh Barnett
-Tony Martin vs Felipe Olivieri
-Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs Carlos Diego Ferreira

Fantasy MMA Picks

High Tier Picks:

-Anthony Johnson
-Randy Brown
-Jimmie Rivera

Low Tier Picks:

-Ben Rothwell
-Bryan Barnerena
-Felipe Olivieri

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

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Events

*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results

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The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.

An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.

The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.

UFC Winnipeg Official Results:

MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
  • #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
    • Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
  • #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45  round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT

  • #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
  • Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
  • Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
  • John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT

  • Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
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Fight Announcements

Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando

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The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.

It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.

Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.

In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.

Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.

In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.

UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

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Fight Announcements

Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.

Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.

First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)

Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.

Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.

Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.

In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.

UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira

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