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24-year-old lightweight prospect Kevin Lee gets his chance to shine in a bout against the experienced, and 38-year-old Francisco Trinaldo this weekend in Brazil. Kevin Lee has run through three opponents in a row after suffering a loss to Leonardo Santos in Round 1 back in December 2015 and has now defeated promising fighters in Jake Matthews and Magomed Mustafev in his last two. His submission victory over Mustafev also saw Lee take home a performance of the night bonus at UFC Fight Night 99. While he has looked excellent in his last three fights, he now has his toughest test in front of him right now – the brawler Francisco Trinaldo.
Francisco Trinaldo uses his sheer strength and size to power through opponents inside the cage. He’s finally managed to put it all together after a lengthy career and is now riding a seven-win streak in the UFC. His most recent wins come against Paul Felder in which he cut him open before stopping him mid-third-round, and a win against Yancy Medeiros that was awarded Fight of the Night at UFC 199.
Trinaldo’s physicality is his greatest asset and could potentially cause troubles for Kevin Lee in this bout. Kevin Lee has the tools to work Trinaldo and look for submission attempts, and this is his most likely path to victory as well. I like the total rounds betting in this one, with a preference for it being stopped early, but the most value here is betting on Francisco Trinaldo by KO/TKO.
People talk about Ian McCall and his unlucky run with cancelled bouts, but Sergio Moraes isn’t far from this conversation himself. He has had nine scheduled fights cancelled since 2013 and his original opponent for UFC Fight Night 106 was Max Griffin before Griffin was injured. Fortunately, Davi Ramos steps in to replace Griffin in what should be a battle between two of the greatest grapplers in MMA today.
Sergio Moraes hasn’t lost an MMA bout since 2012 and has tallied five wins and one draw through this period. Of recent note, his bout against Zak Ottow was a closely fought one that ended in a split decision victory for Moraes.
Davi Ramos is the late replacement for Max Griffin and enters this one with a 6-1 record in mixed martial arts to make his debut in Brazil. He has previously battled in Bellator in 2014 against David Rickels in a unanimous decision defeat. He’s an accomplished jiu-jitsu expert and will likely cause troubles for anyone on the mat in the UFC except maybe Sergio Moraes.
It’s hard to predict a match between two astounding grapplers because they seemingly always end up battling it out in a striking contest instead. It’s hard to get behind Davi Ramos on such late notice, in particular against the power-punching Sergio Moraes. I’m taking Moraes by decision.
At first glance, this is a bizarre fight. Josh Burkman has managed a 1-4 record in his last five fights in the UFC through 2015-16 and hasn’t looked all that impressive in any of these matchups. He was expected to defeat Zak Ottow at UFC Fight Night 106 but lost a split decision. Burkman now faces Michel Prazeres who has been tearing through the competition recently with three straight wins since November 2015.
On second glance, it’s still a strange fight. Michel Prazeres is a bully inside the octagon and will work Burkman over, starting with rushing him to diminish the effects of the height advantage. Prazeres striking will be the primary factor here, and I’m fully expecting him to finish Burkman inside the first two rounds.
Kevin Lee vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Francisco Trinaldo to Win by KO/TKO
Sunday 12th March, 03:00 GMT
Odds: +800 – BetVictor
Sergio Moraes vs. Davi Ramos
Sergio Moraes to Win by Decision
Sunday 12th March, 02:30 GMT
Odds: +150 – BetVictor
Josh Burkman vs. Michel Prazeres
Michel Prazeres to Win by KO/TKO
Sunday 12th March, 02:00 GMT
Odds: +800 – BetVictor
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