Robbie Lawler vs Rafeal dos Anjos (both $8100). Both of these guys are warriors, former champs, and threats to finish any fight. I lean towards dos Anjos versatility and focused aggression winning the fight. Lawler has the power to end the fight as dos Anjos comes comes in, as well. I think it’ll be a longer fight, though, and both guys can rack up points even in a loss.
Fighters I’m On
Ricardo Lamas $9300. “The Bully” is the largest favorite and most expensive fighter of the night for good reason. A quality fighter in every phase of the fight game, he’s been in the cage with the worlds best. Josh Emmett has a tendency to throw heavy shots from the hip. He also ducks his head when doing that. My prediction is a knockout coming from a left/right combo followed by a left high kick once Lamas gets his timing.
Julian Marquez $9100. The Cuban is a burly sombitch’ with some serious power. A steep price and -260 moneyline with only a 6-1 record shows you how much the sharps think of him. His opponent, Darren Stewart, is likely on his way out of the UFC to get more seasoning. It feels like he’s being offered up for the slaughter here. A finish by the second round seems likely.
Glover Teixeira $7700. Teixeira’s loses have come to some of the best at Light Heavyweight. That has relegated him to a gatekeeper at 205. He’s in the role for a reason, though. If you can’t handle his striking you can forget about the top of that food chain. I’m not sure Misha Cirkunov has the chops to get past Glover yet. He might wrestle his way to a decision victory but that require’s three rounds of avoiding Teixeira’s hands.
Fighters I’m Off
Tim Elliot $9000. Elliot looks to dominate opponents with his wrestling. Whether he can be effective in doing that to UFC newcomer Pietro Menga is too big of an unknown for me at this price. Menga seems a capable grappler at the least and has power in his heavier punches. I’m not a fan of wrestling to a decision victory .
Abel Trujillo $8900. Another expensive fighter I’m not willing to risk salary on. He’s been too inconsistent lately to trust as an anchor in a lineup.
Jordan Mein $8400. Mein hasn’t shown much since returning to the ring after a two year layoff. He’s the favorite mostly for being Canadian with the Winnipeg crowd behind him. He’s a quality striker but I’m not chasing the knockout here. There’s also a decent risk of him losing by submission.
Mike Perry $7500. Really all that needs to be said about Mike Perry is that he has a face tattoo. Beyond that he’s 11-1, finishing every win by KO/TKO. Give me a knockout artist like Perry at that price any day. His one loss came to Alan Jouban in what turned into a kickboxing match. Perry couldn’t close the distance on Jouban and frankly wasn’t sure how to do so. To his credit he stayed aggressive all three rounds but never got wild. Perry got back to his KO ways in his last two fights. He put Jake Ellenberger out cold with one of the nastiest Muay Thai elbows I’ve seen. He looked a hair leaner and faster the last time out as well, showing he’s taking care of his body.
Jared Cannonier $8800. “Tha Killa Gorilla” has heavyweight power and reach with a 5’11” frame. If he’s able to keep the fight standing he’s got a very good shot at winning. I’m not sure that happens against late fill in Jan Blachowicz. The blueprint is pretty clear to neutralizing Cannonier: takedowns followed by ground and pound. If Blachowicz is smart he wrestles. Still, Cannonier should be able to push the pace with a benefit of a full camp. Tired fighters are often KO’d fighters.
Follow Mike Alexander on Twitter @Roto_Wan.