Free UFC 161 Picks: Yves Jabouin (-320) vs. Dustin Pague (+260)
MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Light heavyweight bout: Yves Jabouin (-320) vs. Dustin Pague (+260)
Fight Breakdown: The first preliminary card bout at UFC 161 is a three-round bantamweight bout between Yves Jabouin and Dustin Pague. Jabouin is currently a -320 favorite (bet $320 to win $100) while Pague is a +260 underdog (bet $100 to win $260) at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Jabouin (18-8) is a very creative striker and he's been pretty successful in the UFC so far, going 3-2 overall including a 3-1 mark as a bantamweight. But the 34-year-old resident of Canada hasn't fought since last fall when he lost via KO to Brad Pickett at UFC on FUEL TV 5 and his job could be on the line in this fight. Although Jabouin was scheduled to return to the cage against Johnny Eduardo at UFC 158, his opponent was injured at the last minute and Jabouin never got a chance to fight. That leaves me to have questions about overtraining, as we've seen other fighters who have had full camps and never fought afterwards look poorly their next time out. Jabouin should carry a sizeable edge in the standup into this fight, but with his age and questionable chin, Jabouin is not a sure thing here.
Pague (11-7) hasn't fought since last summer and with a 1-3 UFC record there's no doubt he's fighting for his job this weekend. The 25-year-old American is a pretty well-rounded fighter with a solid submission game and knockout power, but he's not great in any one area and that's cost him in his losses to Ken Stone and Chico Camus. Still, you have to remember that Pague took both of those fights on very short notice so there has to be an asterisk next to them because with a full training camp he likely would have had better performances. in them. Pague doesn't have a good record but I'd argue that he's being underestimated by the general betting public and I don't think he should be such a big underdog against a fighter who he is nine years younger than and who he has a giant reach and size advantage over.
Fight Prediction: Two guys who are at the bottom of the UFC bantamweight ladder, and two guys who need a win to stay in the UFC here. Both guys have questionable chins and although Jabouin has the better striking, he also had the striking edge against Pickett and got knocked out. I'm going to call the upset here and I'm going with Pague catching Jabouin on the chin and putting his lights out just like Pickett did.
Adam's Pick: Pague via KO (click for latest MMA odds)
Adam's Recommended Play: I had the fight capped much closer to a Pick 'em, so I see value in Pague here. I just don't think that Jabouin should be such a large favorite coming off of such a brutal loss and although Pague isn't that good himself, I think he's pretty much on par with Jabouin and he's much younger as well. So I'll be betting against Jabouin here and I'll recommend a small play on Pague and hopefully we can all hit a nice +260 underdog. This is a value play.