UFC Fight Night 156 headlines the MMA schedule this weekend and there are some intruiging fights on the card to say the least! We take a look at some of the key matchups and give our betting tips below.
This is, admittedly, a rather low-level fight, but as the quote goes ‘Chaos is a ladder’. I feel the price on Bandenay is a bit overblown, as this is a classic case of ‘misfire in the UFC being an underdog and somebody with no relevant experience’, which is a frequent misstep from the betting public.
Luiz Garagorri has yet to fight anybody who I’d even consider a second-tier fighter. His career has taken place entirely in his native Paraguay, he trains out of a regional, local Muay Thai gym & his style is more blindly opportunistic than necessarily underpinned with a deep understanding of method or process.
Unfortunately, the criticism about method & process equally applies to Bandenay. But I feel that Bandenay’s combination of actually having taken a round in the UFC, training out of a better camp in Team Oyama, meaningful big-show experience & greater athleticism mean that he shouldn’t be the dog in this fight.
My prediction for this bout is a sloppy, low-level brawl in which Bandenay ultimately outworks and outhustles Garagorri for a close decision or a late stoppage.
Ilir Latifi V Volkan Oezdemir
A fight that has been booked 3 separate times now, but delayed multiple times due to injury and Oezdemir’s frequent visa troubles. It should be a fairly tepid bout, but an intriguing clash of styles between two former training partners.
My belief is that Latifi should be slightly favored, so I’m naturally interested in his current line at 2.2. Oezdemir’s recently had a resurgence in public opinion due to his fight against the hyped prospect Dominick Reyes, but I believe that success may partly have been due to Reyes’ hype exceeding his skill level at this point. It’s also significant to me that Oezdemir’s success against Reyes came off a clinch & takedown driven strategy, one that I have serious doubts about working against Latifi who has largely been able to succeed in the clinch.
Cardio is also a worthy consideration. Neither can be said to have a good gas-tank by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel that Latifi will continue working deeper into the fight even whilst gassed. Oezdemir’s gassing has tended to resemble him corpsing, a factor that I feel will play well in Latifi’s factor. The grappling is also a considerable difference here, where I feel that Latifi is a lot more capable on top.
This fight will likely come down to which of the fighters is better able to put his grappling game to work. Moffett is coming off a close decision loss to Bryce Mitchell, which he arguably threw away in the closing minute, whilst Barzola is coming off having his grappling largely shut down by Kevin Aguilar.
My basis for playing this fight is a belief that Moffett’s wrestling is at a higher level than Barzola’s. Barzola has been able to succeed on his wrestling so far in the UFC, but it’s been against a series of competitors without meaningful grappling backgrounds of their own. Moffett outgrappled Chas Skelly, an above-average grappler, and was ultra competitive with Bryce Mitchell in essentially a pure grappling match.
Prediction: Moffett By Decision
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