UFC 165 Date: September 21, 2013 Arena: Air Canada Centre City: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Bantamweight bout: Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres (-125) vs Roland Delorme (+105) Fight Breakdown: The UFC 165 Facebook preliminary card featurues a bantamweight bout between two of the most exciting and underrated fighters in the division, when The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 12 contestant Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres takes on TUF season 14’s Roland Delorme. This fight is at near pick-em odds, with Caceres being -125 ($125 to win $100) and Delorme being +105 ($100 to win $105) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. ALEX “BRUCE LEEROY” CACERES (8-5-1 MMA, 3-3-1 UFC) is much better than his faulty record suggests. In fact, I believe he should not be 3-3-1 in the UFC and should instead be 5-2. He dropped back to back losses to Mackens Semerzier and Jimy Hetes in the featherweight division, largely due to being undersized. He then decided to make the move to bantamweight, where in my opinion, he has been on a 5-0 run. Initially, he upset veteran and former WEC bantamweight champion Cole Escovedo in his divisional debut. He was a big underdog going into the match-up and I was big on him, as I felt he deserved to be the favorite. He followed that impressive performance with a Split Decision loss to Edwin Figuroa, which would have been a 30-27 Unanimous Decision victory, if not for referee Herb Dean doing something I had never seen before and deducting not one, but two points from Caceres for throwing unintentional groin-kicks. Even with the two-point deduction, I believe Caceres should have won the fight 28-27. He followed that up with an impressive third round triangle-choke submission win over veteran Damacio Page that saw Caceres earn Submission of the Night honors, and then a Decision over Japanese fighter Motonobu Tezuka in China. Caceres followed that up with a Split Decision win over Kyung Ho Kang which was later turned into a No Contest when he tested positive for having marijuana metabolytes in his system. This kid has been screwed time and time again and has just had terrible luck. Instead of being 5-0 at bantamweight and in title contention, he is 3-1-1. A former backyard street fighter, Caceres possesses incredible skills on the feet. He is very creative, flashy, and above all, effective with his striking. He is a technical and calculated striker but is also good at pouncing and inflicting damage. The 25 year old Floridian throws great combinations and uses his reach really well. He moves smoothly on the feet and is always wearing his trademark smile. To compliment his stand-up, “Bruce Leeroy” is incredibly talented on the mat. His Brazilian jiu-jitsu is very good and ever-improving. As proven in the Damacio Page fight, it is dangerous to be in Caceres’ guard. Caceres is in tremendous shape and will have more than enough in his gas tank to go the distance with Delorme. ROLAND DELORME (9-1-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC) is coming off an impressive Unanimous Decision victory over the always tough previously mentioned Edwin Figureoa at UFC 161 in his hometown of Winnipeg only three months ago. He’s made a quick turnaround and looks to add another W to his resume, as he steps into the Octagon against the very versatile Caceres. Delorme will certainly be at a striking disadvantage heading into this bout and will likely have trouble dealing with Bruce Leeroy’s unorthodox and creative style. Delorme’s striking skills are elementary. He improves slightly from fight to fight but still has much to learn if he plans to survive with the best strikers in the division. Talented strikers with submission defense will spell trouble for him and that may be the case here with Caceres. I don’t think Delorme will be able to finish Caceres, be it by knockout or submission. I think his best route to a victory in this match-up is to pressure Caceres against the cage and spend time beating him up there, as the clock ticks away. Adding to that, some takedowns to seal the rounds in the eyes of the judges. Delorme is a Canadian fighting in his country for the third time in his UFC career, so clearly he will have the hometown advantage heading into this match. Against a superior striker in Caceres, Delorme will have not only the striking disadvantage, but also a reach and cardio disadvantage heading into this match-up. Fight Prediction: I see Caceres getting the better of Delorme on the feet and them canceling each other out when the fight hits the mat. Everybody is expecting Delorme to initiate the takedown, as he has the superior wrestling, but I think Caceres himself might want to take Delorme down and implement his own top game. Regardless of how it plays it, I see Caceres doing enough to win two of three rounds. Gabe’s Pick: Alex Caceres by Split-Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Alex Caceres -125 for a moderate play, as I think he deserves to be closer to -200. Caceres’ bad luck and the possibility of Delorme getting a hometown decision are the only factors keeping me from going big here.
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