Beyond The Odds :  UFC Rochester

Beyond The Odds series shines a spotlight on the intangibles of 3 fighters for each UFC card.  Here are 3 of the more intriguing fighters competing at UFC Rochester.

Julio Arce:

Julio Arce, 15-3. finds himself with a juicy matchup this weekend as he faces off against a 22-7 Julian Erosa, who makes his return to the Octagon after devastating losses at the hands of Devonte Smith and Grant Dawson.

Julio Arce, a Tiger Schulmann’s product, hopes to get back on track after a bloody 3-round split decision loss to Sheymon Moraes in November of 2018.  When asked about what he took away from the hotly debated contest versus Moraes, Arce shared “I left it all in there. If I went in and half-assed it, then I would have been like god-damn!  I would have kicked myself in the ass. But, I fought a crazy fight, and he was freaking good. Look, we came to a razor thin decision.” You can count on a workmanlike effort from Arce each time out.

In this matchup, I see speed, composure, cardio, and slick boxing being the difference makers in favor of Julio Arce.  Not known for his finishing power on the feet, Arce has shown some versatility with 5 wins by rear naked choke submission on his resume.  What I’m saying is don’t sleep on Arce’s ability to end fights early. Although at a 4-inch reach disadvantage, Erosa should be there to be hit.  Erosa also tends to leave openings when he is fatigued. This fight opened with Arce being lined as the -400 favorite at the betting window, and it has since ballooned to -700.  Julio Arce is your highest priced DraftKings fighter on the board at $9,600. I see him coming through with a clean victory to open the card.

Desmond Green:

Desmond Green has been chomping at the bit to land a fight on his home turf.  The hometown kid aka “The Predator” fighting out of Rochester, NY got his wish, as he takes on 9-1 Canadian Charles “Air” Jourdain.

Last time out, we saw 29 year-old Desmond Green storm through UFC veteran Ross Pearson for a ground and pound victory mid-way through the first round.  Green has kept himself in fight shape since that March 30th win with the understanding that this Rochester card was right around the corner.  The former University at Buffalo wrestler will have many fans in attendance on Saturday night.

Desmond Green hasn’t been given many favors since entering the UFC.  A quick look at his resume and you’ll see he’s faced tough opponents such as Josh Emmett, Rustan Khabilov, Michel Prazeres, Gleison Tibau, and Mairbeck Taisumov.  Green held his own, going the distance with all of them. At UFC Rochester, Desmond Green will look to showcase his diverse skill-set as he mixes it up against a young, undersized opponent in Charles Jourdain.  Jourdain, 9-1, 23 years of age comes in at 5’9” tall, and has spent much of his career at the featherweight division. He makes his UFC debut after securing both bantamweight and featherweight titles in the TKO organization.  From tape footage, Jourdain appears to be an aggressive striker who has capitalized on his opportunities as evidenced by all wins coming by way of a finish.

In this matchup, we should see a savvy Desmond Green close distance to mix in his wrestling early.  Capable on the feet, Green may also be looking to prove a point with his standup after the quick win over Pearson.  Jourdain will be forced to pick his poison here, as he looks to be outmatched in both areas. Barring a wild fight-ending strike landing on the part of Jourdain, I see Desmond Green, the -650 favorite with a $9,500 DraftKings price rolling here.

Antonio Carlos Junior:

“Shoe Face” found his way to the UFC without an amateur career and only 3 professional MMA fights to his credit.   Talk about learning on the job! The truth is that Antonio Carlos Junior only began MMA training in 2013.  The massive middleweight who began his career competing at heavyweight also happens to be a multiple time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion.  Training at one of the best camps in the world in American Top Team, Antonio Carlos Junior experienced a number of growing pains early in his professional career, as evidenced by losses to Patrick Cummins and Dan Kelly.  “Shoe Face” has now rattled off 5 victories in a row and shown a rapid development in his overall game. He’ll need every bit of it against a very tough opponent in Ian “The Hurricane” Heinisch.

Ian Heinisch’s life is truly reminiscent of a Phoenix rising from the ashes.  The 12-1 middleweight has another tall task ahead of him in the likes of Antonio Carlos Junior.  For those who may not know Heinisch’s story, he was a two-time high school state champion wrestler out of Colorado who found himself on the wrong side of the law, and spent multiple years incarcerated for drug related offences both in the US and abroad.  Once out of prison, Heinisch took out a new lease on life by the way of mixed martial arts and joined Marc Montoya at Team Factory X in Colorado. The last time we saw Heinisch in action, he faced Cezar Ferreira in Brazil as a short notice replacement and gave us a glimpse into his relentless pace and spirit, as he marched his adversary down en route to a unanimous victory.

This is a tremendous matchup between two fighters on the rise.  I believe Antonio Carlos Junior’s work with Din Thomas and Junior Dos Santos will pay dividends on the feet, and when this fight hits the mat we’ll see “Shoe Face’s” jiu-jitsu shine.  Something to note is that “Shoe Face” is incredibly long and will have a massive 8” reach advantage. Heinisch is always a tough out, as his only loss came by submission to Markus Perez.  Antonio Carlos Junior will need all of his wits in this matchup, as Heinisch possesses a hellacious pace, great cardio, and a big overhand right.

This line has continued to close with money coming in on Heinisch and has Antonio Carlos Junior currently sitting at a -170 favorite. I wouldn’t be surprised to see “Shoe Face” get down to somewhere in the neighborhood of -145 come fight time.  Give me “Shoe Face” to come through on Saturday night priced at $8,700 on DraftKings as I believe he is the superior technical fighter who has continued to make the right adjustments.

References:

Julio Arce Plans To Finish Julian Erosa Quickly And Get Back On Track

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcbXnf6L-G8


UFC on FOX 29: Antonio Carlos Junior Explains Origin Of “Shoe Face” Nickname – MMA Fighting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOZ2MRRiZWg

 


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