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UFC 207 Prelims – Big Value on Vettori and Magny
Eric Roberts 2016-12-29 in MMA Tips
Neil Magny vs. Johny Hendricks
Neil Magny and Johny Hendricks are two fighters who would have previously featured in the Main Card of an event like UFC 207. However, both have lost momentum in the UFC as of late.
Neil Magny was climbing the Welterweight rankings after impressive victories against Kelvin Gastelum and Hector Lombard before being absolutely pummelled by Lorenz Larkin’s kicks in August this year. Magny starts fights slow, and we’ve seen it before in the Lombard fight in which he was almost finished, and Larkin took absolute advantage of his slow starts by taking it to him early.
Johny Hendricks has had a wildly successful UFC campaign since entering in 2009, with wins over Carlos Condit, Robbie Lawler, and a split decision loss to Georges St. Pierre. Now, Hendricks has fallen to unforeseen lows after being completely dominated by Stephen Thompson and then losing to Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 200.
This one is a battle of reach as Magny will be looking to establish a solid jab early, keeping the smaller Hendricks at a distance. Hendricks has recently fallen into the trap, like most older fighters, of looking to land big knockout punches, rather than relying on his actual strengths, such as wrestling. This approach gets him into trouble, especially when he is against a talented striker with range, such as the Stephen Thompson fight. Whether USADA related or not, Hendricks has seemingly lost a lot of power and athleticism over the years as well, not helping his case.
Hendricks is a one-punch kind of guy, rather than a point striker than Larkin and this should enable Magny to set up his striking game. I also look back at the Hector Lombard fight and saw how Magny overcame the best that Lombard had to offer in ground and pound, making me believe Magny can survive any onslaught from Hendricks too. I’m taking Magny in this one.
Neil Magny to Win Saturday 31st December, 03:00 GMT Odds: 91/1001.91-1100.91-1.100.91 – Skybet
Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Marvin Vettori
Marvin Vettori is one of my favourite up and coming prospects in the UFC today. He debuted in the UFC in August this year against Alberto Uda, an experienced jiu-jitsu black belt and finished him from his back with a guillotine choke.
Vettori faces off against Antonio Carlos Junior, who isn’t a junior if we’re going by size alone. Antonio is a big guy, who came down to Middleweight from Light Heavyweight. Carlos Junior has had an interesting UFC career thus far, with three wins and two losses. Although these two fighters are relatively unknown to the casual fan, this fight has large significance on each of their careers.
Marvin Vettori has been working hard with Fabricio Werdum to prepare for Carlos Junior and I think that kind of training is what’s required to get him over the line here. Carlos Junior is the bigger and stronger opponent, but I’m not going to look past the raw talent and heart that Marvin Vettori brings. Vettori always looks for the finish, and if he can get past the first round, Carlos Junior usually fades quite quickly. I like Vettori via a late stoppage.
Both Alex Garcia and Mike Pyle have lost traction in the UFC lately; however, both can put on an excellent fight, and this is one I’m looking forward to. I’ll never forget Pyle’s performance against Sean Spencer in February this year which is arguably a top ten fight of 2016.
Pyle is a local Vegas guy, and he always seems to turn it on in Vegas, but this one doesn’t play into his favour. Garcia has explosive hands, and Pyle’s chin has gradually worsened. If Garcia taps Pyle’s chin, it’s all over. Alternatively, I think Garcia can out-wrestle Pyle for the duration of the contest as well.
Alex Garcia to Win Saturday 31st December, 02:00 GMT Odds: 57/1001.57-1750.57-1.750.57 – Bet365
Brandon Thatch vs. Niko Price
Brandon Thatch joined the UFC in 2013 and brought plenty of hype with him as he began with two first round finishes against Justin Edwards and Paulo Thiago. Over 14 months later, Thatch lost against Benson Henderson, and in July 2017 he was defeated by Gunnar Nelson, two very talented fighters. His momentum collapsed after then coming up unsuccessful against Siyar Bahadurzada in March this year.
Niko Price is making his UFC debut this weekend after going undefeated through his first 8 MMA fights in Fight Time, a local promotion. From what I’ve seen of Price, he’s a brawler who risks it all to land big punches. His chin is up high, and he throws with malicious intentions.
Thatch needs this win, and this feels like the UFC have spoonfed him a win to get him going in the UFC again.
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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