UFC Fight Night 158 headlines the MMA action this weekend and our combat sports expert Gugabe is back with a full preview for the event and betting tips below!
This fight is going to be a volatile result, either Cirkunov’s chin fails him or he should have a lot of significant edges over Jim Crute. I’d say that he’s the superior athlete, grappler and striker despite being a bit prone to occasional KO losses. As a result, I feel that Crute (who isn’t an especially consistent striker or hitter) should be wider than his current near-evens price point.
A Crute win is likely going to be a very quick first round KO, but if that doesn’t occur, we’ll likely see domination from Misha Cirkunov. It might be unpatriotic to fade the upcoming Aussie talent, but the way that Paul Craig was taking Crute down at will is frankly disquieting. Cirkunov is very capable of dominating from top position, and has outwrestled some superior wrestlers/grapplers to Crute in Patrick Cummins & Ion Cutelaba.
This fight is a classic LHW mess, but there’s no good reason for Glover to be the underdog at this point. Krylov likely either needs to KO Glover clean in the first 2 minutes, or to benefit from a serious overnight ageing issue from Glover.
The grappling edge here is profound. Krylov’s bottom-game consists of trying to explode into low-percentage submissions off his back, ideally fishing for guillotines and other positionally-irresponsible moves. Glover’s top game is still one of the best in the division, and Krylov’s game is perfectly poised to give him the positional advances that he needs to get the tap.
As a result, I’d say there are two plays here.
Miles Johns will take on his own gas tank in Vancouver. Johns is a big, tough, gritty Bantamweight and Johns has serious issues combating his own habit of gassing out. My expectation of this fight is that Johns will look firmly in control for the first round, and then start to slow dramatically as a result of his explosive style. If you can live bet, trying to get on Smith after Round 1 would likely be a great spot.
Smith’s not particularly great anywhere, but he is tenacious and big. This, along with his role as the hometown fighter and Johns’ inability to keep his own preferred pace for long stretches of the fight will likely combine for Smith taking over late. It’s hard to consistently wrestle with a larger man, and Johns has shown a tendency to gas even against lesser competition (such as Richie Santiago on Tuesday Night Contender this year).
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